Having emigrated to South Africa with his wife Mavis back in 1994, Stan Crawforth was given the warmest of welcomes when he returned to East Lancashire for a two-week holiday over the weekend.
As a surprise his loving daughters Maxine Shanahan and Tracey Birtwistle decided to bring their December festivities forward. And on Tuesday, Maxine’s house, in Dale Street, Colne, was filled with music, laughter and, of course, singing snowmen.
Celebrating Christmas in July was something that Stanley’s wife had always done during their time in Somerset West — since December was far too hot for them to fully enjoy turkey with all the trimmings.
Stan (73), who worked at both Rolls Royce and Earby Light Engineers during his time living in Barnoldswick, said: “South Africa’s Christmas is in summer time, so what their mum used to do was have Christmas in July so that we could enjoy the food better.
“It is fabulous seeing the family — I have been eating, drinking, laughing, joking, enjoying myself and meeting old friends.”
The grandfather to Matthew, Rebekah, Kyle and Josh has plenty of plans lined up before he sets off on his 18-hour journey back home. These include bowling in Alkincoats Park and a trip to the York Races.
Talking about their time together, Maxine said: “It is fantastic having him back. He is amazing, and there is only one ‘Stan the Man’.”
And Tracey added: “We love him so much”.
Stan, who is planning to return to England again next year, will be at Rolls Royce Leisure, in Skipton Road, from 7pm on Friday, August 2nd. Any old friends wanting to join him and his family are welcome to attend the reunion.