A BLIND Largs man who had his vision restored thanks to a News campaign has thanked everyone who helped him see Christmas again.

John Hutchinson, 91, told how he was able to watch the Queen's speech and enjoy watching the town light up again for the first time in over a decade.T

The community raised thousands of pounds for the Largs branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland fund to the ground-breaking purchase which have restored the veteran's vision after he was blinded by parasites in Africa.

John says he was able to sit down on Christmas Day with his wife, guide dog Bracken and friends to enjoy the Queen's speech.

He said: "It is the first time I have seen Christmas for ten years. I had a lovely meal and caught up with everyone.

"I have met Her Royal Majesty a couple of times including at the Garden Party at Holyrood. Bracken who was a great hit with the Queen as she loves her dogs.

"I am very happy with the glasses and I am very grateful to the Largs and Millport Weekly News and everybody who played a part for fundraising for me.

"I know that Facebook are doing a ten year challenge - but it is the real thing for me as I remember people as they were ten years ago and now see them for the first time.

"It was a very special Christmas."

John said this week's flurries were the first time he had seen snow for many years, describing it as 'beautiful to see and feel'.

He also finally gets the opportunity to read his favourite local newspaper again!

John said: "Every day I am thankful to be alive and kicking - and having the glasses makes such a big difference.

"The glasses enhance colour and I can increase magnification by four times.

"It is sometimes like having a pair of binoculars or a magnifying glass at times.

"You can zoom in, enhance, enlarge or diminish the perspective.

"They are a marvellous piece of kit."

Having his vision restored has given the active pensioner a new lease of life.

He said: "I am still a radio ham and do some broadcasting of my own and I have just taken up an Open University course in philosophy, religion and Gaelic.

"I thought in case we get independence, I better learn some of the language!"

John is also very humble, and said: "I consider myself fortunate.

"Folk with good vision or normal vision should never take it for granted - it is a real gift.

"I was prepared to never see again - it really makes you appreciate the little things in life."

"We are lucky to know so many good and kind folk in the local community.

"A very big thank you to one and all and best wishes to everyone for 2019."

Picture: R.Smith.