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Romford fireman faces rethink for mum's Christmas present as third generation family tradition wins fame

PUBLISHED: 15:03 11 December 2015 | UPDATED: 16:47 11 December 2015

Colin Gunn, in uniform at his passing out ceremony outside Southwark Training Centre in 1966. Picture Nick Gunn

Colin Gunn, in uniform at his passing out ceremony outside Southwark Training Centre in 1966. Picture Nick Gunn

Nick Gunn

When a crew manager for Romford fire station began to put together his mother's Christmas present, little did he know his plans would be scuppered.

Nick Gunn, in uniform at his passing out ceremony outside Southwark Training Centre in 1988. Picture Nick GunnNick Gunn, in uniform at his passing out ceremony outside Southwark Training Centre in 1988. Picture Nick Gunn

When a crew manager at Romford fire station began to put together his mother’s Christmas present, little did he know his plans would be scuppered.

Nick Gunn, 47, who celebrates 28 years in the fire service on December 14, had planned to give a nicely framed photo of his 16-year-old son Owen who had recently joined the fire cadets.

What made the photo special was Owen standing in his uniform in the same spot where Nick and his father Colin, 71, a retired firefighter, had done before him.

Nick’s mum had taken a picture of her husband outside Southwark Training Centre on the day of his passing out ceremony in 1966.

Owen Gunn, in his cadet uniform outside Southwark Training Centre in 2015. Picture Nick GunnOwen Gunn, in his cadet uniform outside Southwark Training Centre in 2015. Picture Nick Gunn

Nick said: “My mum was not a professional photographer but she always taking pictures.”

In 1988, Mrs Gunn took a picture of her son, on the day of his ceremony, on the same spot.

The picture of Owen joining the London Fire Brigade cadet’s marks a 50-year family tradition

Nick thought it would be nice for his mum to have a picture of all three in their uniforms.

His first obstacle was to make sure he got the picture in the same spot.

Nick said: “Quite a lot has changed over the years.

“Fortunately, a metal cover is still visible on the ground where I had my photo taken 28 years ago.”

Thinking he had the ultimate present for his mum, he soon found this was not to be the case.

“It’s a Christmas present gone wrong,” said Nick laughing.

“The fire service printed it and now its been shared on Facebook, which she has seen.”

Leaving Nick to go back to the drawing board with the question, what shall he get his mum for Christmas?

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