BETWEEN them they have totted up 180 years of life experience — but Syd and George have no intention of putting their feet up any time soon.

Syd Haslam has just celebrated his 90th birthday and his friend and teacher George Davies will turn 91 in July.

They met when Syd visited to Age UK Bolton several years ago to learn some IT skills from volunteer teacher and IT whizz kid George.

And the two have continued to meet every week at the charity’s base at the Learning and Resources Centre in Farnworth.

Both men are veterans of the Second World War, with George a former RAF officer of 40 years and Syd having served in the Royal Navy on board a landing craft.

Syd, who lives in Daubhill, may be better known to readers of The Bolton News for his art work, which famously once caught the eye of LS Lowry.

After retiring from work as a packing case maker, he was able to explore his lifelong passion for drawing and painting.

He said: “I painted a view of Churchgate and it caught the eye of Mr Lowry who said he liked the style of the painting, particularly the chimney pots.”

With the help of George and the classes running at Age UK Bolton, Syd has now managed to create a website where people can view his various works more easily.

He added: “I am still painting and coming up with new ideas.

"The website has helped people to be able to look at my work, and I have enjoyed learning about computers with George.”

For his teacher George, volunteering at the centre in Cross Street for the past 10 years has been all about keeping busy and imparting his knowledge to other people.

He said: “I wouldn’t want to just sit at home watching TV - it is good to keep busy and if you can help others along the way then great.

“I hope that people of mine and Syd’s age can show people who are 70-odd that age doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a number.”

“It has been great teaching Syd over the years, but he is much more of a friend than a student.”

George, who was born in Peckham and lives in Little Lever is planning to take his youthful exuberance on a trip to the Great Wall of China in the near future.

The centre in Cross Street offers a range of interesting courses for Bolton residents over the age of 50 and always welcomes new members, for more information call Co-ordinator Geoff Benians on 01204 701525 or email geoffbenians@

To view Syd’s artwork visit