ONE of Fulham's most loved characters has died, aged 97.
Sid Prior lived in the area almost all his live, owning the same maisonette in Racton Road for 73 years before it was badly damaged in a fire last year. He moved to a flat at the Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation for ex-servicemen in Fulham Road.
Mr Prior, who never married, was famous for working for the DIY chain B&Q well into his nineties and was believed to have been one of Britain's oldest workers until he retired last year.
Speaking from his hospital bed to the Chronicle last year after he suffered smoke inhalation in the fire, he vowed to carry on working, explaining: "I don't fancy the quiet life just yet. When the Wimbledon branch closed three years ago I offered to stop but they wanted me to stay. It's a great store with great management and I enjoy it, so why leave?"
Although a bad leg would later make the commute on the bus to the New Malden branch too much, Mr Prior continued to have a lust for life and was still spotted at his favourite watering hole, The Goose in North End Road, supping a glass of rose.
Mr Prior worked continuously from the age of 14 almost until his death, serving in the army including during World War Two, where he laid telephone lines in Italy and Africa for the Royal Corps of Signals, and then working for an American manufacturing company. He joined B&Q in 1981.
His role as a 'meeter and greeter' at the chain earned him fame as he featured on a news bulletin exploring Britain's increasingly ageing workforce. He also took part in a flashmob dance at the store just before he retired.
Despite having to leave his Racton Road home of so long, Mr Prior refused to be downcast, saying at the time: "I'm adaptable - once you've been in the army, you're ready for anything."
Mr Prior died in his flat on Sunday.