Birthday celebrations on St Andrew's Day as Leslie man reaches 100

A great great grandfather from Leslie celebrated reaching his 100th birthday on St Andrews Day.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 7:53 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 3:20 pm

James Farmer, better known as Jim, was born on November 30, 1921 at Victoria Cottages in the Prinlaws in Leslie and was raised by his grandparents, Jim, a mill and farm worker, and Mary, who looked after the family of 12.

A keen footballer, Jim attended Leslie Higher Grade School where he played as a left winger helping carry the team to victory many times against rival local teams.

Leaving school at 14, Jim started work bleaching yarn and carrying flax from Prinlaws Mill before moving on to become an apprentice plumber at the mill.

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Jim surrounded by his family at his surprise party last weekend.

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During his time working at the flax mill, he met the love of his life, Cecilia Stewart who was working as a reeler, when they were both 18.

The couple went on their first date just two days after war broke out on a Sunday in 1939, enjoying a romantic walk along the Hazels on the road to Scotlandwell.

As Jim was nearing the end of his six-year apprenticeship he was called up to serve his country in the Second World War as a plumber in the RAF in March 1942.

Jim Farmer, celebrates his 100th birthday with card from the Queen (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Now a Leading Aircraftman, he proposed to Cecilia, and the pair were married in November 1942.

Whilst in the RAF, Jim was sent to Arbroath before embarking on a ship heading to Belgium eight days after the D-Day landings in June 1944 before following the invading army across the Rhine and into Germany.

Jim served with distinction, earning several medals for his dedication to the war effort before returning home at the end of 1945.

Jim and Cecilia

With Jim’s return home his first child, Alison, was born in 1946, with his son, Jim Junior, being born in 1949.

Jim was discharged not long after the war’s end and set to work as a plumber helping to build the prefabricated houses in Methilhill.

After two-years working on the new prefabs, Jim applied for his old job at Prinlaws Mill where he continued to work for another 10 years before embarking on a new adventure when the mill closed in 1957.

Jim and Cecilia Farmer.

He retrained to become a miner, working at Kinglassie Pit looking after the belts that carried coal from the coal face, cycling five miles there and back every day.

When the pit was decommissioned in 1962 Jim retrained again as a miller moving on to become a progress clerk at Anderson Boyes, a mining machinery company, where he learned how to use some of the very first computers.

Jim worked there until his retirement in 1986, taking a step back from his busy work life to enjoy working in his garden with Cecilia, winning several prizes for best garden in the West Glenrothes area.

Never one to shy away from hard work, Jim put his plumbing skills to good use by helping people in Leslie with many projects.

Sadly, Cecilia passed away in 2007 after 68 years together.

Jim has maintained remarkable fitness, energy and is still as sharp as a tack and loves to spend his time with his two children, six grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and four great great grandchildren.

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