Centenarian James joins elite club

100-year-old Jim Douglas
100-year-old Jim Douglas

retired railway signalman James Mcleish Douglas celebrated his 100th birthday on Tuesday in the company of five generations of family.

Mr Douglas enjoyed his birthday tea alongside five children, 12 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

The Burnfoot resident credits cycling 53 miles every weekend to see his sweetheart with his good health and long and happy life.

James told the Hawick News this week: “I used to cycle from Kielder to Roxburgh and back every Sunday to see my wife Elizabeth Smith Bell when we were courting.

“I was a relief signalman, and worked at all the signal boxes from Carlisle to Stow.

“When I was on the relief I did a lot of cycling, and I liked a walk.

He added: “I had to cycle a lot as I had to beat the train.”

His marathon cycle rides certainly paid off, as centenarian James still cleans his own house and tends to his own flower 

James has been a loyal Hawick supporter for 90 years and has fond memories of sneaking in to the rugby pitch at Mansfield Park to watch the game as a boy.

He still enjoys listening to his favourite sport on the radio.