Betty left surprised as bagpiper joins in 99th birthday bash in Northampton

The Northampton Town and County Scottish Association threw a birthday celebration for their oldest member who is just shy of 100

Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 7:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 8:32 pm

Betty Sheppard was the centre of attention today in Northampton.

Her friends joined forces in the car park at her care home in Wellingborough Road to wish her a huge happy birthday - at a social distance.

The 99-year-old was told there was going to be a surprise for her this afternoon but she was left wondering all day what it could be...

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Betty was smiling from ear-to-ear today as she was surprised by a piper and friends in the car park for her birthday. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

Friends from The Northampton Town and County Scottish Association - where Betty has been a member for 50 years - were all waiting in the car park at Westonia Court Apartments to sing to her while Alan McIlravie played renditions of Happy Birthday and Loch Lomond outside on the bagpipes.

Betty, who used to live in the Headlands and worked as a medical secretary at NGH, said: "I didn't know anything about today.

"All I knew is that I had to be down by the front door for 2 o'clock.

"It was so wonderful, it was such a special, pleasant surprise. I didn't think I would reach this age."

Pals from the association were waving Scottish flags as she walked laps of the car park. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

Mary Roache, from the association, said if the country was not in lockdown there would have been plans to throw Betty a party as she loves to dance on Burns Night and St Andrews Day.

Her birthday comes at the same time the association, with more than 100 members, is also celebrating it's centenary.

Mary said: "I was sitting at home thinking 'what can I do under these circumstances'?

"If the country hadn't have been in lockdown we probably would have organised something in a village hall and celebrated properly with a dance band and Scottish country dancing.

Betty came out of the home to her friends singing happy birthday. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

"Betty does like to get up and she sits on the seat of her walker and people push her in and out to dance. Ninety-nine is a very good age, isn't it? She is a real character."

Betty, whose husband was Scottish, was given a bouquet of flowers outside by the association, giant balloons and a round of applause before heading back inside.

Alan McIlravie played the bagpipes as Betty walked outside. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.