A FORMER lay preacher from Kington is counting his blessings after reaching the big 100 last week.

Great-great-grandfather Richard Lowe celebrated with friends and neighbours at The Oxford Arms.

Around 50 wellwishers watched him open a card from the Queen and they also raised £250 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in support of his great-grandson, who has the disease. As well as addressing local methodist congregations for half a century, Mr Lowe was also a painter and decorator, bus conductor and window cleaner during his working years.

He has been a life-long supporter of Hereford United and is a great fan of gardening.