I’ll drink to that!
A Second World War veteran from Lytham can toast his 90th birthday in style thanks to a rather unusual present – a case of beer bottles with his face on them.
Former RAF rear end gunner Ron Marlow, who took part in 38 Lancaster bomber missions, features on a series of personalised bottles of ale named after the local lads who fought for their country.
After his daughter got in touch, Lancashire brewery Thwaites made up two cases of its Lancaster Bomber ale with a picture of Mr Marlow in uniform.
The great great-grandad, who was part of 50 Squadron, volunteering for two tours, turned 90 on Monday.
His daughter, Pat Darby, wrote proudly to the brewery to inform them of her dad’s achievements.
She said: “I wanted to do something special for dad and with his birthday being the day before Remembrance Day, this seemed all the more appropriate.
“I wrote to Thwaites and sent them some wartime photos. I just thought it was a nice local link and that Thwaites would like to know that there are brave Lancaster Bomber lads still alive and well.
“I was pleasantly surprised when Thwaites got in touch to say that they would like to do something to contribute to the party and they’d be sending a supply of Lancaster Bomber ale with a specially designed label reproduced from the photo I sent, featuring dad in his uniform.
“This was a great surprise for dad and he was very touched by it – everybody thought it was such a marvellous gesture.”
Mr Marlow – who has two daughters, six grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and four great great-grandchildren – was presented with his surprise present on Saturday when his family held a birthday party in his honour at Fylde Rugby Club.
Des Gallagher, of Thwaites’ Lancaster Bomber, said: “To be able to support surviving Second World War pilots such as Ron is a great honour. So when we received the letter from his daughter we came up with the idea of producing a commemorative label and providing bottles of Lancaster Bomber ale for the 90th birthday party.
“We know that Lancaster Bomber fans are very proud to raise a glass to those men and women who fought for our freedom all those years ago, including remarkable men like Ron who flew during the war.”