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A surprise visit from America makes Blanche’s 102nd birthday extra special

Resident’s Granddaughter Flies In From St Louis, Missouri To

Little Bramingham Farm To Share In Grandmother’s Special Day

 At Friends of the Elderly’s Little Bramingham Farm care home in Luton, Bedfordshire, the care team left nothing to chance in celebrating Blanche Fromenton’s landmark 102nd Birthday. Along with gifts, balloons and cards, the Birthday Girl got a marvellous treat with a surprise visit from her Granddaughter, Holly, who flew in from St Louis, Missouri in America to share in her Gran’s birthday celebrations.

Londoner Blanche, has been a resident at Little Bramingham Farm for over two years, and is a well-loved member of the care home family. For her extra special day, the care team ensured Blanche had a birthday to remember. They decorated the care home in an array of beautiful congratulatory decorations and presented Blanche with a delicious 102nd birthday cake which she shared with her family and care home friends – and, of course, everyone sung ‘Happy Birthday To You’ to the birthday girl.  

However, the proverbial ‘icing on the cake’ and best part of Blanche’s day was seeing her Granddaughter Holly, who secretly flew all the way from St Louis, Missouri in America to surprise her Gran.

“When I saw Holly, I couldn’t believe it. I thought for a second I must be dreaming,” Blanche said. “It was an absolutely wonderful surprise, it not only made my day, but it made my whole year.”

Emma Lawrance, the Registered Manager at Little Bramingham Farm said:  “We all wanted to make sure Blanche had a wonderful and memorable 102nd Birthday and with the top secret, surprise visit from Holly, she certainly did.

“Blanche is such a lovely lady and has a great sense of humour and she always has a smile and a kind word for everyone. She constantly amazes us too as she is so independent and always up for getting involved in our daily activities.” Blanche added: “I’m particularly fond of the exercise classes, quizzes, joining in with the visiting singers and Musical Bingo. There’s always something different going on here to get involved with.”

The care team at Little Bramingham Farm often encourage Blanche to reminisce about her incredible 102 years. Growing up in the 1920s and 30s, Blanche said she didn’t receive pocket money as “money was scarce” but believes that the most incredible invention she’s seen in her lifetime is the radio, closely followed by electric lights.

“Times have changed so much since I was born back in 1920. There have been five Monarchs ruling the country and 21 Prime Ministers in Number 10, Downing Street. I was born the same year as some very famous people, Mikey Rooney, Dave Brubeck, Shelley Winters and Yul Brynner to name a few, so I’m in good company.

“Funnily, I do remember someone telling me that 1920 was year the UK’s first roller coaster – The Scenic Railway – was opened at Margate’s Dream World. It’s listed and still there today, a bit like me,” Blanche added laughing.

Karen Charity, Little Bramingham Farm’s Activities Coordinator said: “Blanche is a real joy to be around and reaching the grand age of 102 is something to be honoured, respected and celebrated. Having her family, care home friends and the care home team here to share her special day with her was wonderful.”

Blanche concluded: “I have had a really wonderful 102nd birthday, it’s been joyous. Having my family and friends celebrating with me, was magical. It’s a day I’ll never forget.

“I’m often asked what advice I’d give to my younger self. It’s easy really. Make sure you always get a good night’s sleep; you’ll wake up with a spring in your step ready to take on the day. It’s always worked for me.”

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