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Posted 01 May 2024

A retired firefighter celebrated his 80th birthday by reliving his glory days with a trip to his local Fire Station.  

After 30 years of service, Housing 21’s Extra Care resident, John visited Sutton Fire Station for his birthday celebrations. 

John’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis forced him to retire and make the move to Extra Care.  

On the day of his visit to Sutton Fire Station, John was immersed in his nostalgia by the revs from the engine, the flashing lights and was able to hold the hose with the assistance of the firefighters. Both his wife, Veronica and daughter, Claire joined him for the momentous occasion. In a heartwarming moment, his daughter, Claire, seized the opportunity to playfully spray her father with the hose which made John smile. 

When asked about the day, Veronica said: “It was a very emotional day for me, with his old uniform on. For a few hours I had my old John back again.”  

(Pictured left to right: Employees at Sutton Fire Station, Veronica and John, and their daughter Claire) 

The spark for the celebration came from friend and Chair of the resident committee, David, who helped orchestrate the day out. David said: “I want to do nice things for people and help make residents life at Belsize Court as good as they can be. It’s the least I can do for them both, we are good friends.” 

The couple have been together a remarkable 58 years and have lived at the Housing 21 scheme for six years. Veronica was overjoyed to spend another milestone birthday together and said: “We’ve always been a team and we always will be.” 

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