An RAF veteran who lives at a hotel in Lynn has recently celebrated his 99th birthday with members of staff.
John Fleming, who first came to the Wetherspoons Globe Hotel in 2011, now gets “gold treatment” from those who work there, and even had three birthday cakes given to him on his special day.
Deputy manager of the Globe, Ashlie Tucker, said: “I got my sister to make John’s birthday cake, but he also had two other cakes given to him by staff members.
“John asked why he’d got three cakes and I told him – you only turn 99 once!”
She added that John moved in five years ago because he would prefer to stay in the hotel than in an elderly people’s home.
Ashlie said: “He still has all of his freedom here.”
Although on average a room at the Globe costs £59 per night, chiefs give John a discount.
Since 2011, the veteran now gets his post delivered to the hotel and has his daily meals in the adjoining pub.
Ashlie said: “John feels extra special here and he loves all the staff, especially the ladies. You know when John is in a good mood because he blows us kisses.”
Last Christmas, as the hotel was open on the day, John got to come down into the pub section of the establishment and was treated to a Christmas dinner – a break from tradition of his usual cheese and tomato toastie with a cup of tea.
But since the pub will not be open this Christmas, Ashlie said that staff are hoping to find him another pub which is open on the day so that he will not go without.
Hotel team leader Louise Mattocks told Wetherspoon News that: “It’s wonderful having him around the place – that’s the sign of a true regular!”
Father-of-four John, who is originally from Northern Ireland, found the pub after he returned to Britain following 24 years abroad, having served with the forces overseas and then becoming an ex-pat citizen.
Ashlie said that John keeps a chest full of medals from his time in service, and that, once, when he was feeling down while reminiscing about the people who died around him in the war, a group of army men and women who were in the hotel went and spoke to him to cheer him up.
She added: “John always says how friendly everyone is with him. He’s got a really good relationship with with the housekeepers who check up on him.
“He says why would he go anywhere else!”