An evening of entertainment turned into a night of surprises for residents at a South Tyneside sheltered housing complex.
People living at Patrick Cain House in South Eldon Street thought they were being invited to a game of bingo with the borough’s first citizen, Mayor Coun Ernest Gibson.
But just as singer Blake Robson took to the mic it was announced that the first surprise of the night had arrived.
Sixteen-year-old swimmer Josef Craig, who the residents have taken to their hearts, had decided to call in, following his triple-medal win at the World Swimming championships in Montreal, Canada, last month.
The teenager has become a regular visitor to the complex since he first called in at the sheltered complex last year.
However, if that wasn’t enough, residents were left even more surprised when, during the course of the night’s entertainment, Coun Gibson took to the stage to sing Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
Anne Nightingale, who helped organise the night, said: “It was a fantastic night.
“Everyone really enjoyed it, and what made it more special were the surprises.
“We had kept it a secret that Josef would be coming and that the Mayor would be singing, so it was really nice for the residents.
“They all love Josef and couldn’t have been more proud of what he has achieved.
“He is just a lovely young man.
“And I don’t think anyone realised the Mayor could sing. Together with the Mayoress, they made the night really special for everyone who was there.”
Josef swam his way into the record books during last year’s Paralympic Games in London, during the 400m freestyle.
He broke the record again the same day, when he took gold in the event.
Josef, from Swinbourne Terrace, Jarrow, who suffers from cerebral palsy, went on to smash his own world record at the World Championships last month, as he swam his way to the top spot in the 400m freestyle.
He also took gold in the 100m freestyle and silver in the 50m freestyle.