A Dunstable OAP has been dubbed Britain’s oldest airport security guard and is carrying out checks at the age of 77.
Graham Smith has worked as an aviation security officer at London Luton Airport (LLA) since 2008 and is the airport’s oldest employee.
His role includes greeting passengers, searching passengers and their luggage to make sure no dangerous items are taken on board the aircraft and reporting anything suspicious.
He says working in security has made him “so happy” and he will keep working until he “can no longer do the job properly”.
Graham, pictured right, added: “It’s a very physical job, but I love it. Until a few years ago I used to weight lift at national level and I still try to keep fit.
“Having a physical job suits me just fine. I also love the people, and it makes me so happy to see our passengers happy.”
The pensioner previously decided to retire at 65 after he was made redundant from the printing trade in which he worked for 50 years.
But after a year he said he “could not handle” being at home as he wanted his brain to be stimulated - so he applied for a job at Luton Airport.
Graham said: “I actually retired at 65 but after about a year I thought ‘Oh I really can’t handle this’, so one of my friends working in security at the time suggested for me to give it a go.
“At 66? I said. Well I gave it a try and here I am ten and a half years later.”
Graham, who started the job in 2009, said it has been a lifeline after Maria, his wife of 35 years, died in December last year.
He said: “My wife recently passed away before Christmas last year, so it can get pretty lonely.
“Coming to work at the airport, they’re the best days.
“It’s a really sociable job, and luckily I really like people - If you don’t like people, this job probably isn’t for you.
“But I shall just carry on.”
Chris Jones, head of security: “Graham is a real asset to the airport. He’s a true gent and is popular with both staff and passengers.
“He has a fantastic work ethic and is always reliable, setting an example for others to follow.”