Care team surprise Edna with Red Arrows themed celebration for milestone 100th birthday

Edna Dobney believes the secret to a long and happy life is to stay busy, keep a positive outlook and get outdoors as much as possible.

Bowbridge Court resident, Edna Dobney, has celebrated being 100 years young with a spectacular Red Arrow ceremony performed by staff at the Newark care home.

Edna is extremely proud of her British heritage and often reminisces on the close-knit community that was formed throughout the war.

The thoughtful care team at Bowbridge Court set to work to create a red arrows themed birthday party for Edna to enjoy, surprising her with a traditional afternoon tea and the recreation of a famous RAF Red Arrow march, which the staff team performed in the garden as Edna and her fellow residents watched from the window, with a glass of fizz in hand.

Deliveries of flowers, gifts and cards, including a very special note from the Queen, flooded into Edna’s bedroom. She said: “I was over the moon with all of my cards and presents, everyone has been incredibly thoughtful. My card from the Queen is something that I will cherish forever, not many people receive them, so I feel very privileged!”

Edna’s family were thrilled to celebrate her milestone birthday, organising an evening meal Edna’s favourite restaurant, The Tawny Owl in Newark. In preparation for the meal, the care team made sure that Edna has a morning of pampering, curling her hair and painting her nails in the onsite beauty parlour.

Edna was born and raised in Spalding where she lived with her parents and sister Phyllis. Edna left school early to work as a nanny, helping a young family to raise their twin sons until they reached infant school.

Edna met her husband, Cyril Dobney, after taking a job as a barmaid at a local pub. After courting for less than a year, Cyril told Edna that they were to marry and they tied the knot at St Lawrence Church in Spalding in 1942. Edna remembers snow falling like confetti as the newly-weds walked out of the church. She said: “Our wedding day was magical, there was white snow like a blanket as far as they eye could see, it looked incredible and just added extra magic to our special day.”

Throughout World War 2, Edna and Cyril welcomed their three children Frank, Janet and David. Edna now has 7 grandchildren.

Following the celebrations, Edna said: “What a fantastic day I have had, from my traditional birthday party celebrating all things British, to a delicious meal with my loved ones. I have memories I will treasure forever. Thank you to everybody who made this day possible.”

Home Manager at Bowbridge Court care home, Claire Gordon-Rundle, said: “It is incredibly important to us to make sure each resident feels special on their birthday and 100 is an extremely special milestone to make a fuss of. I am very pleased to see how much Enda has enjoyed her red arrow surprise performance, the team rehearsed it all week to get everything just right ahead of the big day! I think it is wonderful our team were able to capture some of her cherished British heritage to make her day even more memorable. Happy Birthday Edna!”

Bowbridge Court is a residential and dementia care home operated by Ideal Carehomes and located on Bowbridge Road in Newark.