HIS smile tells you everything you need to know about what it means to be home.
After a nightmare three weeks recovering from a stroke and heart attack, Blackpool’s town crier Barry McQueen is back in the comfort of his home with his trusty bell in his hand.
The popular figure was taken to hospital when he felt unwell during a cruise to Corfu and was forced to spend two weeks receiving treatment abroad before he was allowed to fly back to the UK.
Mr McQueen, 61, of Lawson Road, near Stanley Park, Blackpool, says he cannot wait to get back to work and resume his ceremonial duties now he is home.
He told The Gazette: “It’s the first time I’ve been home in three weeks and it’s lovely.
“There’s nothing like coming home.
“When this happened three weeks ago I couldn’t eat or dress myself but I think I’m doing OK.
“I’ve been out a few times since I got back and I’ve managed to walk with a stick instead of a walking frame.”
The town crier had to endure a 14-hour flight home on three aeroplanes from the Greek island when doctors finally decided he was stable enough to travel.
Once he arrived at Manchester Airport he was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital by ambulance.
He spent five days in the stroke ward before being allowed to go home.
But despite leaving the hospital, he must return for treatment every day over the next three weeks.
He added: “I’ll need three weeks off work then we’ll take it from there.
“I’ve had a lot of support from people ringing me up and my friends have been great.
“I’ve never felt like this before but I’m managing to get out and see a few people.”
Jeff Meadows, former Chief Supt at Lancashire Police and a neighbour of Mr McQueen’s, said his friend was making progress in his recovery.
He said: “When I first spoke to him he sounded very weak and wasn’t his normal buoyant self but he’s now in good spirits.”
Click here to read how The Gazette broke Barry’s story: Stroke ordeal for town crier