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Former train driver celebrates 100th birthday by getting back behind the controls

A former train driver got back behind the controls of a Swansea to Swindon service as part of his 100th birthday celebrations.

Born in Swansea in 1919, Gordon Pritchard spent his whole working life on the railways.

He was called up for military service just after his 20th birthday, and spent several years as a train driver for the Royal Engineers. His first assignment was in Persia, transporting coal and troops from the gulf of Tehran.

Gordon spent several years as a driver for the Royal Engineers Credit: Gordon Pritchard

He then went on to enjoy 40 years of service with Great Western Railway, and would regularly drive the Swansea to London Paddington route.

“Looking back I had a wonderful time on the railways", Gordon said.

"I remember receiving a telegram from my Dad telling me I had to go down to Swindon to take my tests.

“When I passed everyone was congratulating me and telling me I’d got myself a job for life. It was difficult to understand at the time but as it turned out they were right.”

Gordon married his wife, Olive, in 1947 and they had two children, Paula and Roger. He retired in May 1983.

Olive passed away six years ago, aged 88, and Gordon is now cared for by his daughter Paula, granddaughter Victoria and her fiancé Ben.

Gordon was presented with a cake as part of his special journey Credit: Great Western Railway

His family joined him on board the service as he took a trip down memory lane, and he was later presented with a cake and a framed picture.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic", he said.

"Although it was a very different experience to the trains I used to drive."