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Railway Enthusiast Celebrates Milestone Birthday with Virtual Train Ride from his Care Home!

Published: Wednesday 31st March 2021

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Staff at De Brook Lodge care home in Urmston have helped Les Stott to celebrate his milestone 90th birthday party in style by combining his two favourite things: train excursions and brass bands.
To mark his birthday, Leslie spent much of his morning catching up on the phone with his loved ones and opening many cards and gifts which filled his bedroom.

As a special surprise, the care team gave Les a first-class ticket for the ‘De Brook Express’, a virtual train ride experience for him to travel in style to a destination of his choice and soak up the scenes from a projector that took place in the onsite cinema room.

To add to the magic, Les was also presented with his very own train conductor hat and served a delicious birthday breakfast straight from the railway trolley!

Les was born in 1931 in Oldham and was the youngest of his siblings. At age 14 he left education and began a mechanical apprenticeship working at Hall’s Motor repairs until he was 21.

Throughout his life, Les worked as an engineer and has always been fascinated by steam engines. He was very proud to have boarded the (LMS) Jubilee Class ‘Victory’ steam train, which was the first locomotion steam train that ever visited Manchester Exchange station, he even recalls it was number 5705. Over the years, Les has visited many stations, jotting each of their train numbers in a notebook which is incredibly sentimental to him.

Les’s wife also enjoyed the locomotive trips, the couple met at a dance hall at the town hall in Chadderton. The pair hit it off right away and tied the knot in 1956 at the Congregational Church on Ashton Road. The couple spent 61 very happy years together and were blessed with two daughters.

The virtual train ride was not the only surprise for Les on his birthday. The team also arranged for a full brass band to play ‘Happy Birthday’ from the garden as a tribute to the Whit Friday Band contests in Oldham, one of his favourite outings where several brass bands would come together to play.

Les believes his best advice for the younger generation is to always try and save for a rainy day and learn that relationships are all about give and take. He said, ‘I feel blessed to have celebrated my 90th birthday in such style! I am especially thankful to all of the wonderful staff at De Brook Lodge care home for all the effort they have put in to make it a day to remember’.

De Brook Lodge Home Manager, Wayne Jones, said, ‘It is incredibly important to us to make sure each resident feels special on their birthday! I am very pleased to see how much Les has enjoyed his train ride and brass band concert – I think it is wonderful our team were able to make it so memorable’.

De Brook Lodge, operated by Ideal Carehomes, is a residential and dementia care home boasting a hair salon and cinema. The home is currently welcoming new residents for short and long term placements and loved ones are able to visit in dedicated Covid-safe social rooms (subject to current guidelines). For more information, call 0161 755 9750 or visit