Itchenor daredevil celebrates 100th birthday

Robert E Jenkins
Robert E Jenkins

AN ADVENTUROUS spirit has helped one of Itchenor’s most famous residents reach his centenary year.

Robert E Jenkins, known as the Daredevil from Itchenor, celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday, May 2, with champagne and cake at Beggars Roost Nursing Home, in Fishbourne.

Born in Liss, Mr Jenkins attended Churchers College, Petersfield until 1926 and is the oldest ‘Old Churchian’.

After working on a farm in Lancing, he became a telephone engineer.

Described as country born and bred, Mr Jenkins was known for his passion for cars and aviation and even at the age of 90 could often be spotted zooming around country lanes in his MG.

He bought his first MG after becoming a telephone engineer which was followed by a series of MGBs, the latest being one from 1968 which he drove until the age of 90.

He married in 1937 and moved to Itchenor where he stayed until just a few years ago.

During the second world war he was an active member of the Home Guard.

In 1954 he built Black Horse Cottage in Chalkdock Lane where he grew fruits and vegetables to make homemade wines.

After retiring as a telephone engineer, he indulged in his love for aircraft.

He experienced several trips on the Concorde and enjoyed numerous flights in a Tiger Moth and then a Harvard from Goodwood Aerodrome, enjoying the thrill of loop the loop.