A father from Welling has celebrated his 100th birthday in style, with a week of celebrations to mark the milestone.

Ernest (Ernie) Whitcomb was born on April 2, 1918, and has lived in south London for most of his life.

When he turned 100 at the beginning of the month, he enjoyed a celebratory pub lunch, a performance from the Pearly Kings, and a good catch-up with some old friends.

Speaking to News Shopper, his son Barry, 74, said: “He has certainly had a very full life.”

A cycling enthusiast for most of his life, Ernie owned a small bike shop in Deptford for many years and made bike frames.

Described by his son as a “go-getter, always looking to improve and get more business,” Ernie took his trade across the pond, attending several shows and finding business in US cities like San Francisco.

During the Second World War, Ernie worked as an assistant to various Colonels and was stationed in port towns across the UK such as Liverpool and Southampton.

He also found time to marry his wife of more than 50 years, Lily, in 1940.

Together, Barry says, they must have lived a healthy lifestyle, as Lily also lived to see her 100th birthday.

Perhaps it was the cycling that has kept Ernie in such good shape over the years, as he has won several medals in competitive cycling that he proudly keeps on display.

When his friends from Hertfordshire paid him a visit to mark his birthday, they presented him with an old cycling medal from the 1950s they had discovered.

Among those celebrating with Ernie were the staff at the Horse and Groom pub in Wilmington where he went for lunch on his birthday.

The staff joined the many birthday wishes sent to the “legend” that is Ernie, and said he is “dearly loved by us all.”

During his lunch, he offered some words of wisdom on living a long and healthy life: " "I think to reach 100 you need to be active, be kind and enjoy a sweet sherry."

As well as the birthday celebrations, Ernie received a coveted letter from the Queen congratulating him on reaching his 100th birthday.