A couple whose last holiday was a trip to Blackpool in 1980 are planning a return trip to the resort – but this time in an ambulance.
Derek Bozward, 66, and his wife Wendy, who uses a wheelchair, are determined not to let their health problems put the brakes on their holiday plans.
They couple spent their only week’s holiday of their marriage in Blackpool 38 years ago – although they last visited on a day trip in 2003.
The devoted pair, who have three grown-up children and seven grandchildren, suffer from a catalogue of health complaints that have left them stranded at home. Wendy, 58, had her right leg amputated after being struck down with type one diabetes in 2016.
She has also suffered four heart attacks, a brain tumour, a stroke and almost died from heart failure.
Derek suffered an aneurysm in 2015 when he stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated on the street.
Derek, who cares full-time for his wife of 41 years at their Worcester home, has now started an online appeal to raise money to buy an old ambulance from the NHS.
He said: “We’ve both spent so much time in ambulances we thought we may as well get one we can use to go on holiday in.
“My wife has her prosthetic leg and it’s going to be very hard to stay on coaches for four or five hours.
“She likes it (in Blackpool), by the sea. She isn’t very hard to please. Just to see her face is going to be outstanding.
“If we could get an ex-ambulance it would be wonderful. All I want to put in it is a kitchen, washing facilities for me and my wife including a shower, and two beds.”
Wendy added: “At least we would be able to get out. If it's your own you can have it converted to meet your needs.
“If you buy a motorhome there's not always enough room to put your wheelchair in.
“I think what Derek is trying to do is amazing, he does dote on me.
“I’d love to go back to Blackpool. They last time we went was on a coach trip and we barely had time for fish and chips on the pier before we had to come back again.
“My sister came to visit me the other week and asked if we were going on holiday and I just ‘nowhere’.
“I’d like us to go away again and an ambulance seems the perfect vehicle for us.”
A spokeswoman for the West Midlands Ambulance Service, which covers the area the couple live, said they did not sell ambulances but returned them to the company that provided them at the end of the lease.