A Sale care home resident and retired policeman received an unexpected visit from some special guests.

When the team from Care UK’s Oakfield Croft, on Oakfield, discovered that 72-year-old resident Alan Hutchings had spent 33 years serving in the police force, they were determined to make his wish to get back behind the wheel of a police car come true.

Alan, who was born in 1951, grew up in Manchester and attended the Lancashire Police Cadets Training School at Bruche. In 1970, Alan began serving as a Police Constable at Stretford and was promoted to Sergeant just six years later, where he was involved in the Moss Side Riots and the Miners’ strike. Alan moved swiftly up the ranks to Inspector, Chief Inspector and then Deputy Sub-Divisional Commander.

1977 saw Alan become Divisional Commander, and in 2003 his successful career was recognised by the Late Queen Elizabeth, and he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal at Buckingham Palace. Alan also spent six months working with the FBI at their college in America – another career highlight.

On the day, Alan received a visit from members of the Trafford District Force and a special letter from the Chief Inspector. Alan was able to share his wealth of knowledge and experience, and everyone enjoyed chatting about how life in the force has changed over the years.

To make Alan’s wish come true, the officers had also brought a few surprises with them, including a 1964 Hillman Imp, a 1969 Morris Minor, and a 1981 Range Rover – some of the cars Alan had driven during his impressive career.

Alan said: “I had the best time, it was excellent! I can’t believe the team organised such a lovely surprise for me.”

The special visit was part of the home’s Wishing Tree Initiative, which encourages residents to put wishes forward, allowing them to reconnect with a past hobby or try something completely new – from flying a plane to enjoying a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.

Dan Cole, Home Manager at Oakfield Croft, said: “We had a wonderful afternoon listening to Alan’s career highlights and learning all about his love for the vintage police cars he once drove.

“Our Wishing Tree initiative is a brilliant way to celebrate residents’ achievements and enable them to reminisce on their younger years. Alan has had an incredible career, and always has exciting anecdotes to share with the team, so it was an incredibly special moment to see his face light up when he saw the police cars!

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Greater Manchester Police and Rob, Roy, Paul, Geoff, and Ken for helping to make Alan’s day.”


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