100th birthday is picture perfect for artist Reg

Reg Kensall
Reg Kensall

An artist is celebrating his 100th birthday by putting on a charity exhibition of his work.

Reg Kensall of Upper Caldecote – who was born six months before the start of the First World War – turned 100 on Sunday.

The long-time painter has been selling his work for charity for many years and will be holding the display and sale at Upper Caldecote Church Hall on Saturday and Sunday.

Proceeds will be donated to churches in the area and to four charities – the Arts Foundation, Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer UK and the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

Reg, of Oak Crescent is a member of the Biggleswade Art Society and likes to paint landscapes, seascapes, buildings and other subjects using watercolours, acrylics and with other materials.

He said: “I had a lovely birthday do at the church on Sunday.

“We had 78 guests and the Reverend Frank Coleman led the service.

“Afterwards we had cake and a reception.”

Reg has enjoyed much of his retired life painting and taking part in church and community life.

He moved to Upper Caldecote 20 years ago with his wife Edna May, who sadly passed away not long afterwards.

Reg – who has a son, Richard, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren – has become a popular and well-known figure in the community.

Reg and Richard are originally from Leicester, and Reg was born in the aptly named Century Road in the city on March 16, 1914.

He worked as head designer at Liberty Shoes until 1941 when he joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, serving in the UK and across Europe.

Then in 1946 his boss at Liberty made an official request to the Army that Reg be recalled so he could return to work at the company.

Reg said: “It was approved and I have still got the slip that was given to me.

“It says that although I was free to return home I could still be recalled by the Army at any time – so technically they could still ring me now if they wanted to!”

The exhibition will run at the church hall from 10am to 4pm on both days.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome. All of the paintings for sale are original and there will also be refreshments available.