LIGHTING candles on your cake could be considered something of a fire hazard when you’re celebrating your 95th birthday.

But there were no such concerns for Barrhead man Archie Boyd on his special the town’s firefighters were already in attendance.

The crew paid a surprise visit to the former fireman’s home in Woodside Crescent to wish him many happy returns and thank him for his years of service.

Archie signed up as a firefighter in 1951, at the age of 25, after a two-year stint in the armed forces.

Barrhead News:

The great-grandfather served in the brigade for 30 years before retiring in 1981.

Before joining, he had previously served as a teenage messenger for Barrhead Fire Brigade during the Second World War and was on duty in the town in 1941 on the night of the Clydebank Blitz.

Archie, who was widowed in 2003 after 53 years of marriage, said it was “a fantastic surprise” when the local crew turned up to help him celebrate turning 95.

“It made for a very memorable birthday,” he told the Barrhead News. “It was great fun putting on the helmet after all these years and meeting everyone.

“I have amazing memories from my time as a firefighter and this brought them all flooding back.

“During the German Blitz, Barrhead had one fire engine sent to Clydebank – a night I will never forget.

“Thankfully, the crew all came back safely. I remained in Barrhead that evening and did my normal messenger duties on my bicycle.”

Archie is the only surviving member of the original 10-man Barrhead volunteer fire crew which started in 1951 and disbanded in 1982.

During his 30 years of service, he also worked during the day as a fabrication engineer.

As part of his birthday celebrations, Archie was also presented with a Distinguished Service Membership Certificate to mark 64 years as a member of Lodge Thistle & Crown No.1167, based in Neilston.

John Miller, Master of the Lodge, said: “Archie has been a stalwart member since he joined as a young man and this has been recognised by Grand Lodge, in Edinburgh.”