A MASS Happy Birthday singalong was given to a 104-year-old Romsey man.

John Powell, who lives in Ashley Meadows with his son Reg, was on his morning walk when his neighbours surprised him with a round of applause from their front doors.

Now Reg has spoken of the moment his neighbours helped John celebrate his milestone birthday on Tuesday (September 22).

Reg said: "Every day John goes for two walks up and down the road and I was walking with him at 9.45am when most of the neighbours came out of their houses and sang Happy Birthday to him.

"We were obviously very pleased for John because where we live it is quite a close community and people like to look out for one another, so this was one of those occasions.

"The neighbours presented him with a signed card from everyone in the street as well."

When asked what was John's secret to becoming a centenarian, Reg said: "What is interesting is that as a youngster he never drove a car, because he had an accident when he was very young which affected his sight, so he always exercised by riding a bicycle until his retirement.

"I guess the eating habits during the war were somewhat limited, so I suppose from that point of view they probably ate a lot healthier than we do today."

Reg added himself and his wife Elizabeth took John to the Village Pantry Shop and Cafe in Braishfield, where they celebrated his birthday with a cake.

John has lived in Romsey since 1990 after he retired and moved from Coventry to be closer to Reg.

Before John moved to Reg's home four years ago after his wife Ruby died, he lived just around the corner in Farview Drive.