A CHOIR gathered to celebrate a very special birthday with their last remaining founder member.

Arthur Powell, one of Tiptree’s oldest and best known residents, has celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.

And the entertainment at the party was provided, to their honourary vice president, by the Tiptree Choral Society.

Mr Powell was born in Northamptonshire but spent 85 years living in Maldon and Tiptree. He worked as a corn and seed merchant in Tiptree for 40 years before retiring.

Daughter Joyce Gilders said: “In retirement he was never idle and enjoyed gardening and giving practical help to anyone who needed it. A lover of the countryside, he was always pleased in later years to drive around the area where he had formerly delivered goods to farms and individuals.”

Mr Powell was recruited into the Home Guard during the Second World War and as a committed christian also spent many years on the Chelmsford Methodist circuit.

Later in life he had strong connections with the Tiptree United Reformed Church where he was the Sunday School Superintendent for 40 years.

Mr Powell has two daughters, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.