Surprise party for 100th birthday girl

Happy day: Dora Carson with her immediate family at her 100th birthday party
Happy day: Dora Carson with her immediate family at her 100th birthday party

Surprise! Dora Carson couldn’t believe her eyes when she walked into a surprise party for her 100th birthday.

Mrs Carson, who has lived in the Garstang area for more than 50 years, thought she was going for a quiet meal at the Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston, with her son, Arnold Gibson, and daughter-in-law Sheila.

But they lined up a surprise party instead. Mr Gibson said: “My mother has always had a great zest for life.”

“She loves company, she loves to chat and she loves to have people around her, so we knew she would enjoy a surprise party.

“She is very independent, and she used to walk from her home in Wyreside Close into Garstang town centre until she was 95.

“She lived on her own in Garstang until last summer when she moved to Northlands Rest Home in Great Eccleston.

“She used to love dancing and parties, although she has never smoked or drunk, apart from the occasional tiny Baileys.”

Mrs Gibson said the big day had been a wonderful surprise for her mum-in-law, who was also delighted to see here daughter and son-in-law Anne and Raymond Neild.

“She received her 100th birthday telegram from the Queen and was able to show it to everyone at the party,” she said.

“She’s not been very well recently, but I think she enjoyed having people round her.

“She knew we had something planned, but it was a surprise when she saw so many people there.”

Lake District-born Mrs Carson was one of 13 children, and began married life in Garstang with John Gibson, who worked worked as a farm labourer in Barnacre.

They had a son and daughter, Arnold and Anne.

Sadly, John died in 1971. But after many years alone, Mrs Carson remarried when she was 85, to former Garstang Mayor Ernest Carson, who died two years after their marriage.

Mrs Carson continued to live on her own until she moved to Northlands last year.