Brian Brandon, 89, used to live in a first floor flat in Clifton and would have to leave his walking frame at the bottom of the stairs which was far from ideal for Brian, as well as being a health and safety issue for other residents living in the block.
Housing Officer Rachel visited Brian and assessed the flat as being completely unsuitable for his needs. Rachel helped Brian with a housing application to Central Beds Council and requested a direct let. Several weeks later, Brian moved into his ground floor flat in The Gardens in Henlow.
“Rachel is a lovely lady, she’s been very good to me”.
“It’s just so beautiful here in The Gardens. I have a lovely home and this is a very nice community.
“Every other Monday I go to the club in the Gardens to have lunch and play bingo. We’ve already got plans to visit Ely, Great Yarmouth and Sandringham next year with the Residents’ Association.
“On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go to the day centre in Biggleswade. I do my shopping in Biggleswade too!
“On Wednesday afternoons I go to a bible study group. At the moment we’re studying the Hebrews; it’s very interesting.
“I also enjoy a game of cards. Though one time I was playing Whist and a lady kept kicking me under the table. Afterwards, she told me I’d been playing all the wrong cards and I confessed I’d never played before!
“My main hobby is painting. I’m self-taught and have been doing it for 30 years. I used to use oils but they take so long to dry so I prefer to use acrylics. I tend to get given paints and brushes for birthday presents which keeps me going!”
Born and raised in Luton, Brian remembers some terrifying times during World War II:
“We lived by the recreation ground near the bus station. One night we were in the air raid shelter when the enemy dropped a bomb on the rec thinking it was an airfield; we were so scared. I remember watching the Spitfires flying over, they were quite a sight.
Brian worked at RAF Henlow for 16 years and was given a special plaque to remember his time there.
“I used to cycle there every day. I was a storeman at first, then worked in rations, furniture then uniforms.
“In my time I’ve also been a cleaner and a baker, but the best job I ever had was for the SKEFCO ballbearing company as a timekeeper. It took two and a half years to learn the job and it was shift work, but I loved it there.
Brian credits his good health to looking after himself.
“I don’t eat big meals but I am partial to dark chocolate and biscuits and I like a beer now and again. I do have my Life24 pendant that I wear, in case of an emergency. It’s peace of mind for my nephew when he’s not able to visit me.”