A MUCH-LOVED volunteer known to hundreds of children as ‘granddad Bill’ has been honoured - at the grand age of 97!

Bill Armes has been helping Halton Play Council for 25 years.

He works on the till in their shop in Mersey Road, which provides low cost resources and equipment for arts and crafts, school projects and playgroups.The charity has a toy library and runs play schemes and breaks for children.

Bill, from the Grange estate, received thank you gifts and was also presented with an armed forces veterans badge by Halton MP Derek Twigg.

Halton Play Council project co-ordinator Claire Lomax, aged 39, from Halton View, said: “Bill has a special place in all our hearts.

“He works as many hours as we do from Monday to Friday with a half day off on Wednesday. I wish I had a quarter of the energy to achieve as much as he did. For a working person, this is a busy job.

“He know the prices brilliantly. He mans the till and looks after our hire equipment book.”

Widower Bill used to be a butcher and then worked in debt recovery until he retired. He only stopped driving three years ago.

He had a son and daughter with his late wife, Daisy.

Bill was very active in the scout movement.

Claire added: “He only came to us to do a bit of repairing to our tents but he stayed and it keeps him active.

“Bill is very independent. He cooks himself a full breakfast every tea and a meal in the evening. He was quite poorly lately with shingles but he battled through that. That’s the stuff he’s made of.”

Halton Play Council supports many families through play and short breaks.

The resource centre shop offers a wide selection of arts, crafts, stationery and learning materials and hires equipment to help community groups raise funds, such as bingo machines and table games.

Halton Toy Library has a variety of toys and games, big and small, for parents, families and groups to hire for personal, outside use and parties.

For more details, visit haltonplaycouncil.co.uk.