100-year-old man says key to long life is never skipping dessert

  • 22 Sep - 28 Sep, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

A retired baker who has just turned 100 has revealed the secret to his long life – never skip dessert. Lesley Hayman is still fit and active thanks to his ‘tremendous appetite’ which has kept him at a healthy weight his whole life, according to his family. He developed a sweet tooth when he started working in the family business at the age of 12 when he would deliver goods by horse and cart. The great-grandfather-of-ten still enjoys a pie or pudding every night after his dinner.

His favourites are apple pie, sponge cake or chocolate brownie. Lesley’s daughter-in-law Jennifer, 74, said, “Les has a tremendous appetite and loves his food. It’s incredible really, he never leaves anything and never skips dessert.”

Hayman’s bakery, where Lesley worked, was founded by his grandfather, George Hayman, in 1890. Lesley was the third of five generations that worked for the bakery, followed by Tim and grand-daughter Claire, 49. But his career was halted when he joined the war effort in 1939 to serve with 142 Field Regiment of the North Devon Yeomanry. Lesley, who still lives in his own home in Ilminster, Somerset, had two lucky escapes during World War II. He was stationed on the slopes of Mount Etna in Italy when it erupted in 1942. And his tank was bombed by the Germans the same year – which he only survived because the crew had forgotten to close a turret which allowed them to escape.