Posted: 29.10.20 at 16:40 by The Editor
A PENSIONER was paid a 90th birthday visit when his own personalised ice cream van appeared at his front door.
Retired electrician George Smith was bowled over the kind gesture by Crewe firm Whitby Morrison, whose manager director Stuart Whitby drove the vehicle around to deliver an icy treat on the special day.
The van was rebranded to include George's name as well as a big 90 emblazoned on the bonnet instead of the usual 99.
It was fitting recognition for the one-time electrical contractor who struck up a 30-year association with the Weston Road firm after he turned up to rewire a new factory building. George was renowned for his excellent electrical work, which won him some high profile clients across Cheshire.
Stuart says he not only valued his friend's professional work, but the spirit of generosity he showed encouraging him and his family to attend Crewe Alex and England games.
In fact, if it hadn't been for George's enthusiasm, the ice cream van firm's owner says it is unlikely that he would have rekindled his interest in football.
Now a director at Crewe Alex, Stuart recalled: "George got me back into football at a time when I was stressed and working ridiculous hours running a business. I had been into football as a young lad but was then distracted when business came along.
"George would come along and we'd go to games together, him and myself with my family. We went to see England, went to Wembley numerous times and we've got such good memories of those times.
"He is just a top bloke.
"Wherever he worked George was highly thought of. Lady Cholmondeley wouldn't have any other electrician working for her. He worked well into his eighties, but doesn't get out as much now."
George's daughter, Judith, was on hand to join in the fun on the big day this Monday. While granddaughters, Jasmine and Willow, tucked into an ice cream too.
"I knew how much George liked ice cream so we branded the van, including putting 90 where the 99 [flake] goes," added Stuart.
"He loved it and apparently for the rest of the evening he was on the phone telling everyone he'd had his own personal ice cream van."