He may be 103 but that doesn’t stop Frank Bagshaw travelling the world.

The Horsforth resident and former RAF squadron leader, has recently returned from a Baltic cruise.

And today he is celebrating his birthday with his 103-year-old friend, Poppy Busfield, who also lives in Horsforth.

The two, who have hit their latest milestone within a week of each other, are both lifelong members of Horsforth Methodist Church – and they were given a surprise party by fellow congregation members when they turned 100.

This year the two friends marked their special days by attending each other’s parties. Poppy held a celebration at the Grey Horse Hotel in Horsforth last week, and today she was due to join Frank at the Peashill House Hotel in Rawdon.

Mr Bagshaw had served with the RAF for 39 years – joining in 1924 when planes were made of wood and held together by wire. By the time he retired in 1963 he had reached the rank of squadron leader.

His career in the RAF took him to a large number of places inlcuding Palestine, Egypt, India, Malta, South Africa, Greece and Italy.

And his globe trotting has continued with trips to America, China, Germany, Austria and New Zealand – as well as journeys on the QE2, the Orient Express and Concorde.

Marjorie Bagshaw said her father, who had taken part in cricket, cross country running and fencing in his younger days, had also been a crack shot with the RAF.

She said he was still in very good health apart from problems with his ankles.

“We said to him yesterday, if you discount the ankles how old do you feel, and he said 60.”

And he has his own theory for his longevity.

“If you ever ask him he says he has been well looked after,” she said. “Obviously my grandmother looked after all her sons very well, and my mother took over. My mother died 20 years ago – and he has been lumbered with me ever since.”

Mrs Busfield left school at 13 and became a burler and mender at Lea Mills, Stanningley, where she met and married Frank, the mill manager.

She marked her centenary by asking family and friends to make donations to Cancer Research.

She said her 103rd birthday celebration had been lovely.

“I have been inundated with beautiful presents,” she said.

Mrs Busfield said her own long life was in sharp contrast to other members of her family who had died young.

“My father died when I was six and he was only 45,” she said. “I had a sister who died at 45, and three brothers who all died in their 60s.”

“No one has lived anywhere near as long as me.”

And she says although she is a ‘bit wobbly’ walking, she is doing very well.

“I eat well and Iove my food,” she said.