A great-grandfather has finally taken a step onto the property ladder by buying his first home – aged 99.
Geoffrey Green has spent his life working as a tenant farmer on estate-owned farmland – following two generations of his family who previously worked there.
But the 99-year-old has decided it was finally time to depart the farmhouse and buy his own property – a suite with assisted living in a brand new retirement village.
Mr Green, of Combe, Oxon., said: “I’ve had a wonderful life and I worked hard.
“My father said to me ‘Do everything a man can do but do it better’ – and I worked damn hard.”
And speaking of his first very own home, in Richmond Witney retirement village, he said: “I like it very much here but I do sometimes go back to the Manor Farm.”
Manor Farm, in Combe, was where Mr Green was born at the end of the First World War in 1918, to a family who had worked as farmers since the late 19th century.
He said: “My father was a farmer, my grandfather was a farmer – it goes back to 1878.”
And Mr Green wasted no time joining the family business – as a young man, he began farming on the Blenheim Estate in Woodstock, Oxon., where he grew up.
During his years farming on the Estate, Mr Green looked after pigs, sheep and cattle – all of which he said have gone now.
He also grew a variety of crops, and said seeing them grow was one of the most satisfying parts of the work.
He said: “There is a satisfaction about seeing the crops grow and then harvesting them.
“But farming has changed a lot over the years – with the big difference being mechanisation. Horses used to provide the power – now it’s horsepower.
“Nowadays tractors all have satellite navigation and screens and I wouldn’t be allowed to drive any of them.”
And he said the job wasn’t without its perks – over the years he encountered some famous faces, even dining with Harold Macmillan while he was Prime Minister.
And it was also farming that led to Mr Green meeting his late wife Eileen at a Young Farmers’ dance. The pair married when he was 24, and lived together on a farm.
The nonagenarian, who puts his longevity down to ‘abstinence from vices’, finally decided to settled down last November – after growing tired of being ‘chief cook and bottle washer’.
He said: “I’d never bought a house before because I’d always lived on the farm in houses on the Blenheim Estate.”
Mr Green has settled in well to his new home – but he did add: “They say farmers never retire.”
The assisted living village suite, where Mr Green has been living since November, is made up of a living room, kitchenette, and a bedroom with en suite shower-room.
Geoffrey, who has three sons, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, said the move was “surprisingly easy”.
He said: “I am very happy here.The staff are very pleasant, there are interesting other residents from different professions and I’ve made new friends.
“Activities are arranged the whole time, and I particularly enjoy playing Scrabble which I’ve been playing for 25 years.”
And despite being almost 100, Geoffrey said: “I’m very healthy, fortunately – I’ve only been in hospital once, and that was overnight when I lost the top of my finger in a combine harvester.
“However, healthcare is on hand, and should I need anything in the middle of the night, a press of the button and someone would be with me in two minutes – that’s very reassuring.”