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“Not even hospital would stop him visiting the Christmas Dinner, he looked forward to the invite every year”

Bradford District Written by local resident, Andy

We live on a generally friendly street though in reality that doesn’t mean much more than saying “hello” in passing.

When my family moved into our current house we met a few of our neighbours. One of the more elderly residents introduced himself as Barry. Now, my kids generally went by the rule of calling grown ups “Mr Bedford” or “Mrs Hudson”, for example, so they felt a bit uncomfortable with just “Barry”.

I tell you this by way of introducing our neighbour who shall, forever more, be known as Mr Barry. We got to know him a bit, his wife had recently passed away and he enjoyed the chats that we’d have most weeks.

A few years back our kids’ primary school started a Community Christmas Lunch, an opportunity to invite people to a friendly event to celebrate Christmas. As soon as the letter was sent out my kids said “we’d like to invite Mr Barry”

He was delighted with the invite and had a marvellous time.

A few years passed and Mr Barry has spent a lot of time in and out of hospital. He’s been a regular at the school’s Community Christmas Dinner but this year he was in hospital when the letters came home. “How can we invite Mr Barry?” asked my youngest daughter. I started to work out how to find out where Mr Barry was so we could visit.

Thankfully he came out of hospital so my detective work wasn’t needed. The kids shot (safely) across the road and knocked on his door. Mr Barry opened the door and a massive smile spread across his face. “I know why
you’re here and the answer’s Yes” he said. He went on to say not even hospital would stop him visiting the Christmas Dinner, he looked forward to the invite every year.

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