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" Bet's 90th Birthday Bash "

Date & start time: Saturday 11th January 2014, meet for lunch at 12.30.

Location : The Mercure Grange Hotel, Winterbourne, north Bristol.

Places visited : The reception room, the dining room and the garden !

Walk details :    No great distance . . . just circulating !

Highest point : Meeting all, or at least some, of the family.

With : Ann and our family, my Aunt Bet and various members of the extended " Strawford " family.

Weather : Sunshine and blue skies all day.

Elizabeth Strawford . . . in the early 40's whilst in the Wrens.


My aunt has reached another Big-0 Birthday so all the family met up near Bristol to celebrate her "coming of age" again.

  41 brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, husbands and wives graced the tables

for a lunchtime "Big Birthday Bash" meal at a hotel just north of Bristol.

The Mercure Grange Hotel Winterbourne, Bristol.

Our host for the birthday party today, Bet, with Margaret and my sister Pamela.

A big thanks to Margaret and Pamela for organising the day.

" Her Ladyship" greets the guests as they arrive.

She had dug deep into her decorations box and retrieved her 80th birthday rosette to wear again ten years later,

. . . now that's a sign of a good filing system.

Andrew and Helen with their two sons, Jack and Thomas.

Jackie talks to Gareth.

Tracey and Martin talking to my brother, her cousin Peter.

Jenna, Mary, Peter, and Elaine talking to our daughter Cathy.

If front, facing this way, is my cousin Kathy who has travelled over from Charleston in the States to be here.

No prizes for the furthest travelled, but she would have won !

Almost a four generation photo with Vic (and granddaughter Amelia) with his grandson Scott,

and great-grandson Brooke in granddaughter Katie's arms.

Crowd scene in the reception area . . . including Judith, Rowan and Nicola on the left.

Pat Strawford is the shorter lady in white in the front group.

Paul and Cameron are over the back but unfortunately they couldn't stay for the meal.

Ann chats with Paula.

Vic and his grand daughter Amelia deep in conversation.

Elaine talking to Cathy, Jenna and Mary.

It looks like the youngest children are out playing in the sunshine.

It certainly was a nice day outside . . . but it is time to come in for lunch.

Thomas, Jack Abigail and Alexander, all distant cousins of each other, just before lunch.

Inside it is time to be seated . . . after looking at the cards.

The Birthday Cake . . . more of this later.

Five tables to seat the 41 family members.

Our table here includes Pat, Karen and Graham, Tracey and Martin,

and Mark (Vic's son and the missing person from the four generation picture).

Our Gareth, Ann and I completed the table.

A middle table with Helen and Andrew, Helen, Kathy, and Amelia, Katie and Scott,

with young Brooke and the two boys, Jack and Thomas.

Theoretical top table . . .

Bet (in blue), Paul, Catherine, Jackie, Pamela, Vic, Jean and Margaret.

On the far corner table . . .

Rowan (standing) Nicola, Judith, Gareth, and Pamela.

The window corner . . .

Cathy and Jenna, Peter and Mary, Stephen and Elaine, Paula, Abi and Alexander.

Jenna with Mary and Peter . . . and a few empty bottles.

Stephen chatting to Cathy.

The cake was made and decorated by Stephen

(with a little help of a expert neighbour I understand)

and reflects many aspects of Elizabeth's life . . .

A Wren's Hat, a Gas Cooker, the ship Canberra and a French flag

(to reflect her long term friendships with a French family)

- - - o o o o - - -

(left) Jean (Bet's sister) looks on with delight at Stephen's efforts.

Cutting the cake . . . well who is more suited to help her but the pâtissier !

Two crazy shots of Bet's speech and presentation . . . I thank you all for joining me here today !

Here's your bouquet says Maggie.   Sorry we didn't give it earlier with the speeches !

" Do you think anyone has noticed ?"  . . .   "No" says Bet shaking her head.



After dinner, we were entertained by my cousin Susanna.

She is a professional Harpist now living in London.


The afternoon progressed and conversations flowed around the tables,

seen here in the mirrors above the room's chandelier.

Abi and Alexander are out enjoying the sunshine again.

Gareth joins them on the outdoor draughts board . . . photos by Ann.

Uncle Gareth with his nephew and niece.

Better have a couple of formal photos before we all leave.

Our four children . . . Gareth, Paula, Jenna and Catherine.

Smile Cathy . . . he's just messing about !

Almost a nice picture with two of our six grand children.

Oh no . . . hold your cursor over the picture to try again.

With the help of a little photoshop programming !

Myself and Ann join for a family photo . . . pity about my Viking headgear !

Hold your cursor over the picture to put the matter right.

Finally the four Hileys . . . myself, Peter, Stephen and Pamela.

Time for a last chat before we leave.

It was time to go.   It has turned dark outside while we had been talking and we hadn't noticed.

Must do this again some time . . . when is Bet's next big birthday by the way ?

- - - o o o - - -


Like the pictures . . . check out the video.

Click the start button to listen to the speeches and some delightful Harp playing.

- - - o o o - - -



Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Nikon P520 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a pen and paper and a family tree to record names and remember relationships.

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Previous walk - 9th January 2014 - Calmer Seas at Whitehaven

A previous time here - 10th January 2004 Bet's 80th Birthday Bash

Next walk - 12th January 2014 - Bradgate Park with Hilton