Friday, July 19, 2024

Stanford-le-Hope’s Gwen celebrates her 100th birthday with police ride-along

STANFORD-le-Hope centenarian Gwen Lewis was given VIP treatment by Thurrock Community Policing Team to mark her 100th birthday.

Gwen, who has lived in the same retirement complex for the past 30 years, was visited by PC Javier Rodriguez-Perez, PC Neil Brand, PCSO Josephine Ribet and PCSO Reece Bromley, to fulfil her birthday wish of having a ride in a police car.

Gwen went on a patrol of her local area and kept a keen eye out for anyone up to mischief before heading home for some well-deserved tea and cake with the officers and fellow residents and staff.

“The journey was lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Gwen. “Thank you so much all of you. You’ve made it at a lovely day for me. You’re like angels to me!”

Born in Wales, Gwen spent much of her early life in India where her dad was serving with the Royal Engineers. She married her late husband, Bob, who was stationed in Dehli with the Parachute Regiment of the British Army before being forced to return to the UK after India’s independence. The couple later had a daughter, Maureen.

Gwen said she wanted to ride in a police car because of fond childhood memories of her piano teacher’s husband. He was a police officer and always joked with her about making sure she behaved herself.

PC Javier Rodriguez-Perez organised the visit. He said: “It was amazing to meet Gwen. She’s had a fascinating life and reaching 100 years of age is an incredible achievement.

“When we told her we were there to take her for a drive, she was very surprised and got quite emotional. She held onto my hand and wiped away a tear. It was a beautiful moment.

“She really enjoyed the trip out – she was smiling and laughing, and I couldn’t believe how cheeky she was. When we got back and had photographs by the car, she asked if she was going to be our new pin-up! 

“As a team, we love getting out and meeting people in the community. We want to show everyone that we’re more than a uniform, we’re there to listen and to help, and we like to put smiles on faces whenever we can.”


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