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Bagpipes and Champagne to Celebrate Great-Great-Grandmother Dorothy’s 102nd birthday!

Published: Friday 12th June 2020

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Staff at Stockport care home,Brinnington Hall, have helped Dorothy Duncan celebrate her 102ndbirthday in style by combining her two favourite things: the sound of bagpipes and a cheeky glass of fizz!

To mark her milestone birthday, Dorothy spent much of her morning catching up on the phone with her loved ones and opening her many cards and gifts. Dorothy, originally from Scotland, was later surprised by the care team who had arranged for a piper to perform classic Scottish tunes on the bagpipes in full traditional Highland dress.

Dorothy Duncan was born in 1918 and grew up in Newmachar, Aberdeenshire. She lived with her parents, Annie Innes and Alexander Stephan and her seven siblings. She has many fond memories of her childhood and the friends she made during her school years. Dorothy left school aged 15 to work at a local laundrette with her close friend, who later became her sister in law.

It was during her time at the laundrette that Dorothy met her future husband, James Thain when he came to the store as a customer and the pair hit it off straight away. Soon after, they tied the knot in a small service at the local registry office in front of their close friends and family in 1935.

The couple share three children together and Dorothy has many wonderful memories of spending time on holiday in the countryside and visiting her favourite spot, Balmoral Palace. Dorothy said, ‘I believe being a mum is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It was not always easy, during the war I had to look after my children alone at a very young age as James was called away to serve in the Army’.

‘I am proud to have raised such kind, loving and hardworking people and I am incredibly proud of all of their achievements.  I was especially proud of my eldest son when he was awarded an MBE and we visited Buckingham Palace for the ceremony’.

Dorothy has also been blessed with six grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

During the late 80’s Dorothy travelled to Australia to visit her family and loved her stay so much that she emigrated there and lived with her son for a number of years. She returned to the UK and moved to Stockport in 1994 before moving to her current home at Brinnington Hall two years ago.

Dorothy thinks the secret to a long life is to always do what makes you happy, she adds ‘my skincare tip to the ladies would be to ditch all the lotions and potions and stick to warm soapy water and a rich moisturiser – your skin will glow!’.

Home Manager, Rachel McIntosh, said, ‘It is incredibly important to us to make sure each resident feels special on their birthday and 102 is an extremely special birthday! I am very pleased to see how much Dorothy has enjoyed her bagpipe surprise – I think it is wonderful our team were able to capture some of her cherished Scottish heritage to make her day even more memorable’.


Brinnington Hall is a residential care home, boasting a luxury cinema room, beauty parlour, vintage tearoom and spacious lounge and dining areas.  Residents at Brinnington Hall enjoy a full programme of health, leisure and wellbeing activities managed by a dedicated team of carers. All 67 bedrooms are en-suite, enabling staff to deliver person-centred care in a dignified manner, promoting independence as far as possible. For more information about Brinnington Hall, contact Rachel on 0161 406 3040 or click here.