A FLINTSHIRE pensioner and Elvis fan who dreamed of seeing his name up in lights in Blackpool has returned to the town.
Clint Barry, 78, fell in love with the Lancashire town – famed for its tower, funfair and piers – more than 50 years ago when he visited with his late wife Ada.
Despite holidaying around the world, including seven trips to Memphis to visit Graceland, home of his hero Elvis Presley, Clint’s love for Blackpool never wavered and his dream of returning to the seaside holiday spot came true with a weekend trip.
But not satisfied with a bag of chips and a stick of rock, plucky Clint couldn’t resist getting ‘All Shook Up’ on holiday.
He became a bit of a celebrity during his stay, as each evening he joined hotel entertainers on stage dressed as Elvis.
Clint sang his favourite song ‘It’s Now or Never’ on the Blackpool stage and now proudly sports the Elvis T-shirt he bought on his trip.
“He’s a performer, a real showman,” said Natalie Marshall, manager at the Hollybank Care Home in Shotton which Clint calls home.
“Clint’s great fun and a bit of a character, he’s always first up singing and dancing and that extended to his trip to Blackpool.”
When he wasn’t nailing Elvis classics on stage during his weekend visit, Clint realised another dream, reaching the top of Blackpool Tower.
“It was hard work getting to the top but I wasn’t scared,” he said.
“I thought ‘if the glass floor below me goes, it goes’!”
Clint is now planning another trip to Blackpool later this year to visit the world famous illuminations.
“It’s changed so much,” he added.
“It’s all new and there’s more going on, I’m looking forward to staying a bit longer next time.”
Clint’s Elvis antics have become renowned at Hollybank. Last year he surprised diners at a Christmas lunch when he disappeared from his table only to reappear in an Elvis costume complete with microphone to belt out a tune.
Clint, a former steelworker originally from Connah’s Quay, has lived at Hollybank since April, 2012 and made it clear to care home staff he wanted to return to his beloved Blackpool.
Miss Marshall said: “He wanted to go to Blackpool as soon as he arrived but due to his ill health at the time, he wasn’t able to go.
“It’s always been his dream to go back, it was his goal and it spurred him on to get fit.”