We had a joint 150th birthday party for my mum (80) and Aunty Dot (70) at the Novotel in Worsley. A fabulous party which, frankly, could not have been better. The next morning was ‘Fathers day’ and my kids had got me a few CD’s from the charity shop, one of which was the Chelsea Pensioners ‘Men in Scarlet’ CD. I joked with my ‘Flight Sergeant’ rellie Martin that, as it was pensioners, it should have been for him “You cheeky *@*!” he retorts before pointing out that there are 2 Chelsea pensioners in full regalia, waiting in the lobby of the hotel.
So, I introduce myself to them and ask if they know any of the pensioners on the cover of the CD. “I’m that one” says Denis pointing to the 3rd from the left. What are the chances of that? “Hardest work I ever did!” he told me. “We sold 110,000 copies on the day it was released and got to number 4 in the charts. We’re in the Guinness book of records as the worlds oldest boy band”. He graciously posed for a photo before getting into his taxi.
If that wasn’t enough of a coincidence……when I get home, I look him up and find his name from this video. Denis Shiels. Now, I have an old school friend called Nick Shiels who I reconnected with last year. I then half remembered him telling me about having a Chelsea pensioner in his family, so contacted him and…..“Yeah, that’s my Uncle Denis” he confirmed……..“Always singing and whistling my Uncle Denis. Visited over a hundred countries whilst on active service and has a myriad of interesting stories and anecdotes. I do love my uncle” .……………….what are the chances of that!”
Bob the Chiropodist