100 second interview: Celebrating our community’s centenarians

100 second interview: Celebrating our community’s centenarians

Lesley on his wedding day

Name: Lesley Richmond

Born: 12 April 1914

Birthplace: Hackney, London

• Have you always lived in the capital and where do you currently live?

I’ve lived at Jewish Care’s Vi & John Rubens House in Ilford for two years. Before that I lived in Hackney, Clapton and then Leytonstone.

• What was your profession?

I left school when I was 14 and started working in barber shops. I joined the Army in 1940 and was sent to serve in the Coastal Regiment in Kenya and Zanzibar. On my return, I worked in Ridley Road market in Hackney, managing two grocery shops until I retired.

• You’re also a huge football fan

Meeting Leyton Orient players

Alongside my work, my big passion has always been football. I’ve been a Leyton Orient fan since I first saw them when I was seven and have loved going to see them ever since. I don’t go nowadays, but look forward to the team’s annual visits to Vi & John’s, which allows me to discuss the season’s progress and share stories with the young players about the team’s past.

• Were you married? If so, for how long and to whom?

I was married to Irene for 52 years. We met at the Tottenham Royal Dance Hall and got married at Egerton Road.

• Do you have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

I have two daughters and three grandchildren who live in Gants Hill and Chigwell.

• What’s your happiest memory?

I have many happy memories of my family and friends. I remember many happy events that we shared.

• What do you consider your greatest or proudest achievement?

I’m very proud that I’ve been able to see my family grow up and that they’re doing well.

• Who are your heroes of today and yesteryear?

My family.

• If you were granted one wish to see something in your lifetime, what would it be?

To go to New York.

• If you could live your life again would you do anything differently?


Do today’s young people have it easy compared to when you were growing up?

Yes, when I was growing up there was so much poverty and many families had to share overcrowded houses.

• What advice would you offer today’s youngsters?

They’re always in a hurry. They need to remember that sometimes they need to have a little more patience, especially for older people.

• Are older people given the respect they deserve in Britain today?

Yes, generally they are.

• The secret for a long life is…

Being happy and showing kindness to others.

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