A care home in Brentwood has united with Bobby Moore’s former primary school to surprise the former Barking pupil with a special visit on his 85th birthday.
Brian Ellmore, a resident at Ardtully Care Home enjoyed a magical day at Ripple Primary school on 13th October, a school which he attended in the early 1940’s.
The 85-year-old went to school at the same time as Bobby Moore and has a signed photo of him in his room at Ardtully.
Brian was chauffeured to the school in a Rolls Royce and was greeted by the headteacher, Mr Mitchell and staff from the school. Children sang happy birthday to Brian and ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’ as part of the celebrations.
Louise Hickman, home manager at Ardtully, said: “Brian’s visit was organised following an interactive experience in our care home, where he was able to use our Activitouch tablet to take a trip down memory lane. He was excited to explore the area of his family home, where he lived for 80 years, as well as his primary school.
“I have never seen Brian so excited and animated in telling us about his life, his school days and his job working at Barking Power Station.
“He thought he wouldn’t ever be able to see the places that were so special to him, so we were determined to make it happen and ensure his birthday was one to remember.”
Brian has been a lifelong West Ham United fan, attending the games regularly in the 70s and 80s, so the school organised a West Ham birthday cake decorated with personal messages and candles. Brian was then handed a birthday card from Bobby Moore’s daughter, Roberta Moore, and will later receive a West Ham shirt with ‘Brian 85’ written on the back.
Louise continued: “Speechless, thoroughly spoiled and overwhelmed, Brian ate cake and drank tea as he soaked up the celebrations.”
Speaking after the visit, Brian said: “I had the most wonderful day, it was the best birthday of my life.”
Brian continues to reminisce about the day by looking at pictures with staff and has expressed that he does not want to forget such a memorable day.
Mr Mitchell, headteacher of Ripple Primary School, said: “It was lovely to meet Brian and the staff at Ardtully. I hope they enjoy the photos from the day and we are hoping to deliver Brian’s West Ham shirt to him as soon as possible.
“It was a pleasure to welcome back Brian to our school and we are so happy that he enjoyed his visit with us.”
Following the school visit, Brian visited his old house in Barking, which was exactly how he remembered. He then went to see The Manor House, which was just across the road, a place where his sister used to play with the old caretaker’s daughter.
This special day was organised as part of the home’s Magic Moment scheme, aiming to enrich the lives of residents with meaningful activities or one-of-a-kind events and experiences.