WELL-wishers queued out of a village hall’s door to say “Happy Birthday” to a remarkable 100-year-old.

From rugby union player to prisoner of war, English teacher to musician and racehorse owner, Alan Bolt’s century has been an eventful one.

He and his wife, Alison, who live in Leece, celebrated the milestone over two days with a party for more than 130 guests at Rampside Village Hall; a quiet lunch for two at the Wilson Arms, Torver; and a 6am start for a hunt breakfast of champagne and cake with the North Lonsdale Foxhounds, of which Mr Bolt is the retired master.

“He was absolutely delighted,” said Mrs Bolt of her husband’s reaction to his birthday, including greetings from Her Majesty The Queen and Amber Rudd, welfare and pensions secretary.

“He’s had something like 110 cards. They are strung up round the room; it looks like Christmas.” added Mrs Bolt.

The 100-year-old was born on March 4, 1919, in London and educated at Surbiton Boys’ Grammar School, where he was a keen athlete and musician, as well as captain of the rugby union team.

World War Two broke out while he was reading English at King’s College, London. After graduating he joined up with the Royal Signals and fought in the North African desert.

Captured by the Italians, he was passed over to the Germans and eventually landed in a POW camp at Mühlberg, on the Elbe river in what became East Germany. There he formed an orchestra made up of inmates from many different countries, before liberation by the Russians in 1945.

In peacetime Mr Bolt taught English at his old school, as well as taking part in amateur dramatics, running his own orchestra, conducting choirs, learning to ride and joining the Surrey Union Hunt.

By the time he retired from teaching he was director of curriculum at Esher College, a large sixth form in Surrey, and he moved up to Cumbria to be with Alison, his wife, in 1984.

He became chairman of governors at Dendron School, then of Low Furness School when Dendron, Scales and Urswick schools merged.

Mrs Bolt said her husband was “overwhelmed” by the turnout at his 100th-year party, where his daughter and grandchildren were among the guests.

A five-tier cake decorated with hounds, early musical instruments, rugby union and horse racing evoked Mr Bolt’s many interests, which include his beloved Furness Bach Choir.

On the secret to her husband’s longevity, Mrs Bolt said he had kept all his friends and hobbies, enjoyed many outings, and did The Times’ quick crossword with her every day.