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Colin Cole still volunteering as he approaches 100

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | News | Published:

He may be turning 100 next week but Colin Cole shows no sign of slowing down.

Colin Cole who is 100 next week is a volunteer CCTV operator at Oswestry Police Station.

Mr Cole is a West Mercia Police Volunteer, working on the Oswestry CCTV system that is run the the town council and housed in the police station.

Twice a week he monitors the cameras and keeps in touch with police officers and organisations such as the local Pubwatch scheme.

He is also a member of the British Legion and still stands outside Sainsbury’s in Oswestry each November selling poppies.

Mr Cole started volunteering for the CCTV system in 2015, shortly after his wife, Joan, died after 74 years of marriage saying it was important to do as much as he could to keep his mind occupied.

In 2017 he was part of the CCTV team that won the National Association of Local Council’s Local Council Project of the Year Award. He also switched on the town's Christmas lights that year.

Jim Stafford, Co-ordinator for Oswestry Volunteer CCTV said: "Colin is a valuable part of our team. He volunteers without fail every Tuesday and Friday. Oswestry CCTV would be nothing without the volunteers who give up their time for the benefit of the community."

He first started volunteering when he joined the Metropolitan Police as a Special Constable.

He said: "Everyone was terrified of the Police Sergeant who had been a Sergeant Major in the army. In those days there were no radios, you just had to ring in every two hours from a Police Box whilst you were out on your beat. The only way we could call for help was with a whistle."

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He volunteered to join the RAF before the outbreak of World War Two so he could choose the service he joined.

"I was posted to be a radio operator on a Lysander recognisance plane flying over enemy lines. It was a dangerous job and many lives were lost."

Following an ankle injury he was posted to Air Sea Rescue in the English Channel and North Sea, rescuing both Allied and German pilots and air crew.

After the war he trained as a teacher in Cheltenham College and in the 1950s he and his wife moved to her home town of Oswestry to take up teaching posts in the area.

He finished his career as Special Needs Advisor for Shropshire based in Shire Hall. Although he retired when he was 61 but continued to stay busy playing golf and volunteering for organisations.

Mr Cole will celebrate his 100th birthday on June 12.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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