Born at the start of what became known as the ‘Roaring Twenties’ on 6 September 1920, former CT Baker Group employee, Lionel Rogers, has reached the remarkable milestone of becoming a centenarian.

Lionel joined CT Baker Group at Bakers & Larners of Holt in 1979 after moving to the area in the same year.  Known to his colleagues by his middle name, Norman, he went on to take early retirement in 1983, returning frequently to the store as a customer.

It was on one of his visits to the store as a customer, some sixteen years later, when Lionel met his now wife, Carmel, who also worked at Bakers & Larners of Holt.  Carmel was working in the store’s book department and helped Lionel choose curtains for his home after a local competitor had been less than helpful!

Jane Gurney-Read, CT Baker Group’s Managing Director, Nick Baker, MD Designate and Denise Moy, who during her 33-year career (to date) has been a colleague of both Lionel and Carmel, helped Lionel celebrate his incredible milestone birthday at his home in Holt.   Denise’s friendship with Lionel has been an enduring one as she recalled: “What an unforgettable time it was to work with ‘Norman’ with his quick wit, sense of humour and sunny disposition.  He was always ready to help or advise.

“Lionel is a truly remarkable character and certainly does not look his incredible 100 years”.

Lionel was presented with a selection of gifts, including a book written by Mr Anthony Baker, ‘A History of the Bakers Business’ and a bottle of Bakers & Larners 250 Gin.

Lionel served with the Royal Army Service Corps during World War II in Egypt and Libya and alongside the Desert Rats at the Battle of El Alamein where he drove the wounded from the battlefield to the field dressing stations. 

Marking his centenary year in the early autumn sunshine with Carmel, feeling sprightly, Lionel asked her: “Are you sure I’m 100?” A quick check of his birth certificate confirmed Lionel is indeed a centenarian.  When asked what his secret to longevity is, Lionel remarked: “Make the most of whatever life hands you and above all have fun”.  He added how lucky he has been to “have so many lovely people wanting to celebrate” with him and how wonderful it was to “reminisce about the happy times at Bakers”.