Lifelong Guinness-lover and well-known Musselburgh man David McGeary, who worked until his 70s, has sadly died at the age of 102.

Five days before he passed away peacefully at East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington on April 3, he was still living at his home at Musselburgh’s Mansfield Court Sheltered Housing.

He was described as “such an independent man” by his daughter Connie Crawford who said her dad would have been 103 in September.

She said: “He was amazing and tried very, very hard to stay well. He had such a strong will and was remarkable for his age. He was admired by everyone who knew him. He was such a character and had a good sense of humour. He still had that ability to the end.”

She added: “He kept good health over the years and was fortunate never to have suffered serious illness.”

Mr McGeary continued to enjoy a glass Guinness, Ireland’s most iconic beer.

A sociable person, he enjoyed visits to local restaurants with relatives for meals and a pint or two of the stout, which he has drunk all his adult life, and which his family believed could have been the secret to his long and healthy life.

His 100th birthday was made even more special when he received a gift the brewers of Guinness to mark the occasion and “lifelong association” with the drink.

Mr McGeary, who was born on September 8, 1921, in Grove Square off Rothesay Place in Musselburgh, was one of 10 children, of whom seven lived to reach adulthood – four sons and three daughters.

East Lothian Courier: musselburgh 100th birthday david mcgeary mansfield court sheltered housing muss guinness drinker 14/9/21

His parents were David McGeary and Mary Anne (née Storrie).

As a boy, Mr McGeary attended Newbigging School, now Loretto Primary School.

When he was 11, the family moved to Eskview Road in Stoneybank. He was one of only five children his age to be offered a place at Musselburgh Grammar School, which was then a fee-paying school.

His mother felt he would feel out of place because children who attended there came from “well-to-do” families, so he went to Fisherrow School instead.

In 1935, at the age of 14, he started an apprenticeship as a railway vehicle builder (wagon builder) and from the age of 16 he lived in digs in Glasgow to continue his training. When demand for wooden wagons eventually stopped, Mr McGeary became a miner, working in Carberry and Dalkeith collieries.

He met his wife Margaret Flockhart when he was 18 in Fords Dance Hall, just off Market Street, and they married at Inveresk Kirk in 1943.

They had seven children – five daughters, two whom have passed away, and two sons.  Mr McGeary’s wife died in 2008 after a long illness.

Their 16 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and four great, great grandchildren all adored Mr McGeary and he enjoyed spending lots of time with them.

In his forties, He retrained and became a joiner and was employed at Lowes Farm in Musselburgh.

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In his fifties, he moved to London to do loft conversions, only returning to Musselburgh when he was 92.

He did visit his family in the town several times a year and they had trips to London.

Mr McGeary continued in employment until he was in his seventies but never completely stopped working, loving DIY especially.

An avid reader, he enjoyed cryptic crosswords and the toughest sudoku puzzles every day.

As a young man, he spent his leisure time in local billiard halls and started what became a lifelong hobby in dog and horse racing. He was a regular at the former Wallyford and Powderhall dog tracks and also at Wimbledon dog track in London.

He also enjoyed travel and visited his daughter for holidays in South Africa, USA and France.

A celebration of Mr McGeary’s life will take place on Monday, April 22, at Seafield Crematorium, Edinburgh, at 11am.