A LIVERPOOL pensioner celebrated his birthday by returning to the place he was born – 92 years ago.
Percy Frederick Hill, known to his friends as Fred, was born in 1921 in the Central Buildings on North John Street, Liverpool city centre, where his dad Percy was a caretaker.
The former office building has since been turned into a luxury Beatles-themed hotel, the Hard Day’s Night Hotel.
And yesterday Fred, of Sefton Park, returned to the building with his brother Glyn, 87, his niece Carol and his neighbour of 12 years Jackie Friedlander, 71, for a slap-up birthday afternoon tea.
When Fred was a child, the building housed offices and was also used as a back-up location for the Allied headquarters during World War II.
He said: “As my dad was the caretaker, we used to live in the Central Buildings with him. I remember as a child, the top of the buildings having a completely flat roof and we used to play football on it.”
During World War II, Fred, a joiner by trade, and his mum used to risk their lives putting out fires on the roof.
Fred said: “I used to rush to the roof and put the fires out using curtains from the building while my mum used a water pump.
“I don't want to sound big-headed, but if it wasn’t for us, the buildings might not be here today.”
Despite not being a fan of The Beatles, Fred said he was amazed at the building’s transformation from offices to a themed hotel.
He said: “This was the first time I had been in the building since I left to get married when I was in my 20s.
“I couldn’t recognise the building from the inside.”
Jackie, who organised Fred’s visit for his birthday, said: “I had no idea the hotel would put on a spread of afternoon tea for Fred.
“I just wanted to take him out for his birthday in the place he was born in, but when my son phoned up and told them what the table booking was for, they wanted to help Fred celebrate it.”
Mike Dewy, the general manager of the hotel, said: “It is an amazing story and it is good that he has been able to come and enjoy the surroundings of the hotel on his birthday.”