Retired Shropshire firefighter reunited with former engine at 80th birthday surprise
A stalwart firefighter that served throughout Shropshire for more than 25 years has been reunited with the engine he used to drive on his 80th birthday.
Having joined Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service in 1960, Dave Blount never thought he would be sitting in the same seat 60 years later.
The former Bridgnorth and Much Wenlock firefighter turned 80 on Sunday and was given a surprise birthday party, with family members being able to track down his former vehicle, which is now used as a mobile bar.
Joined by family and friends during the socially distanced gathering, even Bridgnorth's firefighters of today were able to make a stop and compare their modern appliance with its predecessor.
Dave, of Duchess Drive, was also a member of the charitable Bridgnorth Lions for nine years, becoming president twice.
"It was quite a surprise, and an emotional one at that," he said.
"I've seen the fire engine out and about as a bar but I'd never been up close to it again.
"We had to be a bit careful with the virus rules and regulations but it was all out the front of the house, and even the current fire service from Bridgnorth came to visit, bless them."
He added: "I was in the fire service for 28 years. I joined in 1960 and left in '67 before rejoining in '76.
"I used to turn out for Much Wenlock in the daytime and Bridgnorth at night for a while as they were short and in the day I worked in Much Wenlock."
Dave's daughter, Chula Postings, added: "As soon as the fire truck turned up he was virtually in tears. He said 'I used to drive one of those' and I told him to go around the front and look at the registration plate.
"I said, 'that's yours', and was has nearly in tears – it was such a great day.
"A lot of ex-colleagues turned up and Bridgnorth Fire Station dropped by with their new engines too."