Greetings - all the way from Vegas!

PUBLISHED: 10:39 22 February 2007 | UPDATED: 15:01 12 May 2010

“A VERY PRECIOUS LADY”: Joyce Wilson pictured with Brian Tait-Russell, outside The Queen Adelaide pub in Croydon, on one of his visits

"A VERY PRECIOUS LADY": Joyce Wilson pictured with Brian Tait-Russell, outside The Queen Adelaide pub in Croydon, on one of his visits

A FORMER Royston schoolboy is sending a surprise birthday message via The Crow to the woman he describes as wonderful all the way from across the Atlantic. Brian Tait-Russell, now 66, who lives in Las Vegas, is sending greetings to birthday girl Joyce

A FORMER Royston schoolboy is sending a surprise birthday message via The Crow to the woman he describes as "wonderful" all the way from across the Atlantic.

Brian Tait-Russell, now 66, who lives in Las Vegas, is sending greetings to birthday girl Joyce Wilson, of Days Close, who is 81 this week.

He said: "I would like to express my sincere wishes and thanks, and I send all the greatest love in the world to a very precious lady.

"For 50 years Joyce has been there for me, no matter where I have lived or worked, and she's never missed one of my birthdays.

"Unfortunately, I couldn't get back for her birthday, and I wanted to do something different.

"She always reads The Crow, so hopefully this will be a nice surprise and cheer her up after a recent operation."

Brian and Joyce first met when Brian was just seven years old, and a pupil at Shaftesbury House School in Barkway Road.

Brian was one of the seven original pupils who were sent to the school from various parts of London.

He said: "We arrived in Royston in the late 40s, all with a fairly naughty reputation.

"And it was quite hard to settle at first, but after a short while this wonderful lady took a few of us under her wing, and invited us round at the weekends for tea.

"We used to love going round there. And we have been close ever since."

Brian has a lot of happy memories from his time in Royston, and still considers the town as his home.

He said his fondest memories included learning to swim at the Green Plunge pool, visiting the Royston Cave, and trips to the old cinema.

Brian said: "If we behaved ourselves the school would let us go to the pictures.

"We used to love watching cartoons and westerns."

Since Brian left the school in the 50s, he has managed rock groups and helped set up one of the first mini cab companies in the West End.

He now owns an alternative fuel company in the States.

Brian said: "I have lived a very interesting life and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Joyce and her family.

"She has a big heart and even now she is still helping people.

"So I would like to thank her and her late husband Sid - who have always been there for me and made me part of their lives.

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