WHOEVER said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks had clearly never met Jack Reynolds, the app-mad great grandad who – with his iPad in tow – is about to celebrate his 100th birthday.
The tech-savvy centenarian knows a few things about gadgets, and is never far away from his touchscreen tablet, which he bought himself as a gift two Christmases ago.
“He rang me up the other day to tell me about a new app on his iPad,” said daughter, Jayne Goodwin, 51. “He said ‘You have got to get Tap Tap Ants. Download it, it’s free for two days’. I couldn’t believe my dad at nearly 100 was ringing me to say that.”
And Hollingwood based Jack – whose iPad name is SpeedyJack79 – is a regular on social networking sites, and is one of Facebook’s oldest users, just shy of the world-record holder, who is 103.
He said: “I am on Facebook and I have got all my family on there so we can communicate easily. All the children show me how to use it when they come round. It is so easy and great for keeping up to date with everyone.
“I am not on Twitter yet, but I might start using it.”
Born weighing a huge 14lb on April 6, 1912 in Sheffield, Jack moved to Chesterfield two weeks after his birth and has lived in the area ever since. A foreman plate layer by trade, he worked at Staveley Works for 40 years, before his retirement in 1975.
At 26, he married his late wife Kathleen and the couple had four children, Michael Reynolds, 71, Christine Walters, 68, Christopher Reynolds, 61 and Jayne Goodwin, 51. He also has eight grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Christine said of her dad: “He attracts everybody, kids, adults, they are just drawn to him. He is like a magnet.”
“We love the bones of him.”
Former Hipper Street School pupil Jack reckons the secret to his youthfulness is his penchant for whisky, which he enjoys once in the morning in his tea, and once before bed.
“That keeps me going,” he joked. “That and living. Just keep on living is all you have to do. It’s obvious isn’t it?”
He will mark his milestone birthday tomorrow with a party at Hollingwood Hotel, with over 100 guests from as far as America coming to celebrate the occasion.
“I have got a lot of people coming to my party, but I don’t want anything for my birthday. I want presence not presents, I have got everything I need. What everyone gives me I have got to live another year to use so I might not get any use out of it,” he joked.
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By Ellie Hunter