PENSIONER Gordon Cook got a blast from the past when he visited RAF Benson.

Mr Cook, 78, who did his national service with the RAF in the 1950s, saw how the air force has changed in 60 years.

He and other residents from Winterbrook nursing hom in Wallingford got a close-up look at some military hardware at the base on Monday then had tea on the base with servicemen and women.

Mr Cook, who used to live in Sonning Common, said he had a wonderful time on the day out.

Born in Reading in 1935, Mr Cook joined the RAF for his national service when he was 18.

He served in nursing corps for three years, meeting his life-long friend Leo Ward.

Mr Ward went on to be his best man at his wedding to Shirley.

Mrs Cook said: “I think he really enjoyed being in the RAF.”

Mr Cook went on to work as an engineer, helping to build aeroplanes for a number of companies in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.