A SECOND World War veteran has celebrated his 90th birthday with a surprise birthday party.

Doug Hocken was treated to presents including a blazer, tie, beret and badges during the party at Veterans In Communities in Haslingden.

The RAF veteran, who was a navigator and flew in Lancaster Bombers, also received a special mug showing a Lancaster Bomber from VIC Arts and Crafts Co-ordinator Darren Horsnell.

The former Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School student began working for JB Broadley’s in Rawtenstall aged 16 before he enlisted in the RAF in 1944. After the war he was then stationed in Delhi in India.

On returning home, Doug went back to his job at JB Broadley as a production manager, retiring in 1987. He was also a football league referee until he was 42.

He has a son David who is a scientist at the European Space Agency in Darmstadt, Germany, and a daughter Susan, a director in P&M Coppack, in Bacup, five grandsons, three granddaughters and twin great-granddaughters.

Doug said: “My wife Dorothy died in 2010 and my daughter Susan has been a rock, but a couple of years ago I was visited by the welfare and they suggested that I attend VIC because I was a bit lost.

“They thought it would be good for me and it has been. I have been very lucky to meet such nice people and I have been on lots of trips."