All fired up: Banbury care home fulfils resident’s burning wish

A Banbury care home resident was delighted when his wish to relive his past career was made a reality.
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When the team at Care UK’s Highmarket House, on North Bar Place, heard that 92-year-old resident, Francis Lomas, known by his friends and family as Tony, who spent almost two decades working as a firefighter, was keen to relive his workdays, they were determined to make it happen.

Tony spent 18 years working as a firefighter, where he was based at Tysoe Station, in Warwickshire.

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During this time, and thanks to his passion and commitment, Tony climbed the ranks to earn the title of Leading Firefighter.

Banbury Fire Station paid a special visit to Care UK's Highmarket HouseBanbury Fire Station paid a special visit to Care UK's Highmarket House
Banbury Fire Station paid a special visit to Care UK's Highmarket House

To help fulfil his wish, the team at Highmarket House arranged a special visit from Banbury Fire Station, who brought along on of their fire engine so Tony and his friends at the home could enjoy an afternoon exploring the vehicle and chatting to the team.

Commenting on the occasion, Tony said: “It was a lovely surprise to see the fire engine turn up – they’ve changed a lot and even have hot water to make a cup of tea now!”

The special visit was part of the home’s Wishing Tree Initiative, which encourages residents to put wishes forward, allowing them to reconnect with a past career or try something completely new – from flying a plane to enjoying a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.

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Francesca Cowley, Home Manager at Highmarket House, said: “Tony is always sharing stories of his time as a firefighter.

“Our Wishing Tree initiative is a wonderful way for residents to share their passions and ambitions and it’s hugely rewarding to be able to make these a reality. Tony loved being back in the truck and it was a wonderful way to encourage residents to share fond memories and stories of past careers with one another.

“I’d like to extend a big thank you to the team at Banbury Fire Station, as well as to the team here at Highmarket House – we all had a wonderful afternoon!”

Highmarket House is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential, nursing, dementia and short-term respite care. The care home incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities and includes its own cinema, hair salon and café.

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To find out more about Highmarket House, please contact the Home Manager, Francesca Cowley, on 01295 297596 or email [email protected]

For more general information, visit

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