A few weeks ago we reported the departure of Stephen Allen on his way to Chelsea in London. He Served With The 14/20Th Kings Hussars 1962 to 1968, then went on to Serve as a tank transporter with The Royal Transport Corps (RTC). Corporal Stephen Allen has become Preston’s only current Chelsea Pensioner at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home of the Chelsea Pensioners.
Stephen, best known to his mates as ‘Tanky Steve’, was accepted into the organisation following the long protocol required to become a Chelsea Pensioner and he says that it is the best thing he has ever done. Life is great for 72 year old Stephen in his new role and he has even acquired a job as a volunteer at the Wellington Barracks in the Guards Museum as a guide which, as he says, it will keep him out of mischief; well, some of the time maybe!
Since being retired and living in Preston, Stephen has been a long serving Standard Bearer For RASC RCT Preston Branch and many people will have probably seen him on duty at most of the formal occasions held in Preston over the years. He is also an avid Preston North End supporter and will continue to be so even though he will now be in London for most of the time.
While walking through the city centre this week on his return visit, Stephen has had to get used to being a bit of a celebrity due to the attraction his crimson tunic and his black Shako hat. Those passing by with cameras in hand were asking him if they could have their photo taken with him; however, he is incredibly proud of his new status and so are we.
It is entirely justified for all of Preston to be proud of what Stephen Allen has achieved and that he is Preston’s one and only Chelsea Pensioner.
All photography by Gillian Lawson.
Have you seen Steve around Preston wearing his crimson uniform? Let us know in the comments below.