A member of the Twickenham Hearing Support Group has turned 100.

James Thomas Sporle grew up in Hammersmith, where he was born on October 17, 1918.

He left school at 14 and started work at Lyons in Cadby Hall, where he would stay until retirement.

In 1944, he married Caroline, which means they have been married longer than the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

They had three daughters, called Rosemary, Mahala and Jacqueline, who died five years ago. They also have four great-grandchildren.

Sporle may be an unusual name but they seem to produce a flourishing crop – his mother was also a centenarian.

When he was young, James lost hearing in his left ear, but he was able to cope with it. However, he was worried about losing hearing in his right ear and not being able to communicate.

He decided to learn how to lip read and joined Maureen Beaumont’s classes in 1981. He went with her when she took over the Twickenham Hearing Support Group, where he has remained since.

The Group meets every Wednesday evening at 7:15pm in The Hall of The United Reformed Church on Twickenham Green.

It is a social gathering, mainly for the over fifties, who can meet with others with hearing loss in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere to have lip reading classes, games, quizzes, illustrated talks, occasional social outings and chat.