Beith’s latest centenarian is Charles (Charlie) Jamieson, born in the town’s Reform Street on December, 31 1919. He was the second child of Annie and Charles Jamieson. Mary was Charlie’s older sister by 11 months.

He left school at 14 years of age and after being unemployed for a time in the years of austerity, went to work in Stevenson and Higgins Cabinet works where he learned the trade of cabinet making for which Beith was famous.

Remaining there and completing a five-year apprenticeship he was called up to join the Army in 1944. After six weeks training at For George, Inverness, he joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corp and was immediately sent to India. Importantly he did manage to marry girlfriend Jenny Shields of Glengarnock in Glengarnock Parish church before setting off on the long voyage to India.

Working his way up he was promoted Warrant Officer First Class and was in charge of work parties of 200 civilians in several cities including Bombay and Calcutta and has fond memories of his time in India.

After army service he began work at the Caledonian Works in Beith where he spent most of his working life, although he did work for Customs and Excise at the Whisky Bonds in Beith and Barrmill until his retirement age 65.

Charlie and Jenny had a daughter, Elizabeth, who tragically took ill and died aged just nine months. They also had a son, Charles and they spent many happy years living in Beith’s Hawthorn Crescent. For the last two years Charlie has been a resident in the town’s Thistleknowe Nursing Home where is well looked after and a very popular resident.

Charlie has two grandsons Alastair and Colin and four great grandchildren, Ryan, Finn, Eilidh and Keir.