Pensioner's secret to a long and happy life is 'drinking and dancing'

Ted Gear, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday, believes a good work-life balance is key to a happy life.

Ted Gear celebrates 100th birthday at Saltcoats care facility with friends and family Email

A pensioner who has celebrated his 100th birthday has revealed his secret to a long and happy life is dancing and drinking with friends once a week. 

Ted Gear, a resident at Bield Housing and Care’s Wheatley Gardens development in Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, believes a good work life balance is key to a happy life. 

Originally from Barry island in South Wales, Ted moved to Saltcoats after taking a job as a deck charge officer in the Royal Navy. 

He went on to work in Myanmar, India and Spain and served for years stationed in Ardrossan. 

Following his stint in the Navy, Ted returned to Saltcoats to work for British Rail and following a career that spanned 40 years, he retired aged 80. 

Ted said: “If I could pass down one big piece of advice to the younger generations it would be to work hard and never let anyone tell you you can’t do something.

“My life has been long, exciting and full of happy memories. I’m very lucky to have travelled around the world but it’s all been down to my work ethic and graft.”

Ted Gear married in 1942 and had five children, who were all brought up in Saltcoats. Email

A firm believer in socialising, the 100-year-old has been a member of a Monday club for more than 75 years and still attends each week to socialise, drink and dance with friends. 

Ted added: “Working hard was paired nicely with a lot of socialising. My club on a Monday has become a big part of my life and has helped me keep in touch with friends.

“I can’t claim to have been the healthiest over the past 100 years though, I’ve only just quit smoking.”

Ted married in 1942 and had five children, who were all brought up in Saltcoats.

He said: “Looking back over the last 100 years is crazy, the world has changed a lot and I’m glad to have spent it around great family and friends.”

To celebrate Ted’s birthday, Wheatley Gardens held a celebration with friends, family and staff at the development. 

Josephine Bruce, manager at Wheatley Gardens development, said: “Ted is a marvel. He is great to have around the development and enjoys a good blether.

“He’s so much younger than his years – always up for a bit of fun and loves to socialise so maybe that’s the secret to having a long healthy life.”

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