Special birthday surprise for five-year-old Theo

A youngster received an extra special Christmas present thanks to kind-hearted council staff.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 9:00 am
Michael Fletcher, Craig Browell and Craig Gallon with Theo and his mum and dad, Craig and Jade.
Michael Fletcher, Craig Browell and Craig Gallon with Theo and his mum and dad, Craig and Jade.

Little Theo James was not dreaming of a white Christmas – he was dreaming of bin lorries.

And his dreams came true thanks to North Tyneside Council.

Theo’s dad, Craig Clarkson, from Wallsend, contacted the council to see if they could help do something special for his fifth birthday.

The Stephenson Memorial Primary School pupil is completely and utterly obsessed with bin wagons.

He waits at the front door every week without fail to watch the binmen turn up and gives them a wave.

He’s always playing with his toy bin trucks and even pretends to be a binman.

So the council’s Environmental Services team arranged for a real-life bin wagon to turn up on Theo’s birthday as a surprise.

With his birthday being close to Christmas, driver Craig Browell arrived dressed as Santa accompanied by his elves, fellow drivers Michael Fletcher and Craig Gallon.

The youngster could not contain his excitement as he was allowed to sit in the cab of the truck and was given a private demonstration of how to empty a bin.

And to round it off Theo was treated to a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ from Santa and his elves before being given a gift – a toy bin truck of course!

Dad Craig said: “We’re so thankful that North Tyneside Council sorted this out for us – Theo was over the moon and hasn’t stopped smiling since! It really was an unforgettable day for him.”

Coun Carl Johnson, cabinet member for environment, said: “I am really proud of the team for setting this up and it was fantastic to see them make young Theo so happy.

“I know the team always enjoy seeing him wave at them on their rounds and I hope he had a brilliant birthday.”