Six Town Housing has decorated the home of a Radcliffe veteran who was recognised in the 2020 New Year Honours list as a gift to mark his 100th birthday.

Wilfred Oldham, from Radcliffe, celebrates his centenary on 28th August 2020.

Wilf’s family recently contacted Six Town Housing to ask if they could surprise him by arranging to paint his home ahead of his birthday as it is something he had asked for. When Six Town Housing found out who the work was for, and that he had been disappointed that he could not formally receive his MBE yet due to the pandemic, they decided to work with the family to carry out the decorating on their behalf as a goodwill gesture.

Wilf heard about the work in advance of it taking place. He said, “I am overwhelmed by this birthday gift, it’s the last thing I would have expected and I am eternally grateful and want to thank all concerned.”

The work was carried out by the New Works section of Six Town Housing’s in-house Repairs Direct service, who are responsible for installing new kitchens and bathrooms in homes managed on behalf of Bury Council across the borough. The team have repainted all rooms in the bungalow.

Rick Doyle, New Works site manager for Repairs Direct, said, “Wilfred has lived an extraordinary life and when we found out that he was disappointed not to have been awarded his MBE in person, we knew we had to do something special to mark his milestone birthday.”

Wilf has been made MBE for his services to commemorations and UK/Dutch relations in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas list. He took part in the Battle of Arnham in the Netherlands in September 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden.

Wilf says he was was due to receive his MBE on 4th April and was looking forward to receiving it from the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, but is disappointed that this has been delayed indefinitely due to coronavirus safety measures.

Wilf remains a proud member of Bolton Parachute Regimental Association. When asked what he is doing to mark his birthday Wilfred said that the group has arranged for a socially distanced get together that includes his family at the Para Café in Bolton.

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