BIG DAY: Roy Tallentire who received a telegram from the Queen
BIG DAY: Roy Tallentire who received a telegram from the Queen

AS the Royal Air Force celebrates its 100th anniversary, so has one of its former members.

Roy Tallentire, of Alston Road, Middleton-in-Teesdale enjoyed a quiet family celebration in the showroom of the family-run car dealership, where he spent most of his working life, as he reached the milestone.

Mr Tallentire spent all but six years of his working life at Alston Road Garage. Following in the footsteps of his father, Walter, he become a mechanic at the garage, which was called Bradley’s.

He operated and repaired steam wagons.

The only time Mr Tallentire spent away from the garage, which is now run by his son Ian and his wife Ruth, was during the Second World War when he was an RAF mechanic.

During that period Mr Tallentire was stationed around Britain including the Isle of Man.

During the height of the war he was transferred to Canada, where he spent three years maintaining aircraft for the RAF.

It was while he was based on Prince Edward Island, in Nova Scotia, that he met and married his wife, Pearl, who came to Britain on an Atlantic convoy.

After the war, Mr Tallentire and his bride returned to Middleton-in-Teesdale and he continued to run the garage concentrating the business on car, tractor and agricultural repairs. After his father retired he took on the garage, going into partnership with his son, Russell, and they began stocking Ford vehicles in 1963.

Mr Tallentire retired from the business when he was 65, but has continued to take an interest, often popping into reception for a chat during his daily walk.

His son, Ian, said it was fitting he spent his special day, where he received cards from family and friends, as well a special one from the Queen, at the garage.

A keen amateur radio enthusiast, Mr Tallentire has kept in touch with friends around Britain on shortwave system, some of whom were able to make it for the special celebration.

He also received a mug from the RAF, although admits a flypast from the Red Arrows would have really rounded off the day perfectly.