A POPULAR former stable boss was given a surprise treat to remember to celebrate a milestone birthday.

Kinver resident Brian Bone was overjoyed with his 90th birthday gift of a ride around the village in a horse-drawn carriage, courtesy of Foxdell Carriages in Kidderminster.

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And as if that wasn't magical enough - movie-scene like snowflakes began falling from the sky as striking white horses Pluto and Kurioso and their carriage pulled up to collect him.

The treat was laid on as a tribute to Brian, who used to run stables at the Hill Tavern in Clent, at Hagley Hill, Hagley Hall and later at Lea Castle equestrian centre, Kidderminster.

Widower Brian, who lives at Kinver's White Harte Caravan Park, is something of a local celebrity among the horse-riding community for the opportunities he and his late partner Pearl Palmer gave to youngsters keen to work with horses.

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Kay Cardall, who used to work for Brian at the Hill Tavern Stables in the 1970s and 80s, said the stables were full of young helpers "who wanted horses that came from families who couldn't afford them" and she added: "Even now we're all grown up we're still known as the Clent kids. There's even a Facebook group - 'Pearl and Brian...The Clent Years' which is full of all the former kids that used to help at the weekend."

Emma Whatley, of Foxdell Carriages, who organised the surprise carriage ride, said: "Brian has been so good to us over the years - we wanted to do something special as a little thank you.

"He is an amazing man. It was so nice that so many people came to see him."

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Julie Chance, who also helped to organise the treat, added: "It was really lovely. Brian was quite overwhelmed. We were really chuffed."

Brian was also treated to a party at Kinver Constitutional Club on January 13 which was attended by more than 70 people.