A BELOVED grandfather with a passion for motorcycles was treated to a special ride for his 98th birthday.
War veteran Captain Jim Walters, of Chesswood Road, Worthing, was joined by 25 relatives and members of the Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club on the day.
Braving the wet conditions, Jim was taken on a short road trip to Shoreham Airport in the sidecar of a classic motorcycle.
“I loved it,” said Jim. “I really enjoyed my trip out in the sidecar. I did feel sorry for the chaps coming out in such horrible weather but I noticed that they wore scarves round their necks, against the weather, so I knew they were experienced bikers.
“They’ve promised to come back when I turn 100 and take me out on an Aerial Square Four.”
During the Second World War, Jim served in Africa, Burma and then India. Following the war, he owned two BSA motorcycles including a Gold Star.
Jim’s grand-daughter, Judi Davenport, 42, travelled from Bournemouth for the occasion.
She said: “First of all the family would like to say a big thank you to the members of the Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club who came and made it a day to remember.
“He (Jim) came out had a little look and a little chat and managed to get in the side car. Once he saw them and heard them there was a big grin. He thoroughly loved it.
“He was really happy and had a big smile on his face even though it was tipping it down with rain. We all really love him and we are all really proud of him.”
The day was made extra special by the presence of Jim’s grandson Nick Perry who returned from serving in Afghanistan shortly before the birthday celebrations. In his speech, Nick said Jim was his inspiration for joining the Army.
Jim is involved with the National Blind Veterans Association and has been invited to a summer garden party at Buckingham Palace as their guest.