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Bikers rally for centenarian

Almost a dozen roared up to Hazelgrove Court Care Home, on Randolph Street, to mark the centenary of Betty Wood.

The motorcyclists were invited by carer Jemma Bringloe as a surprise for Betty, who was an avid biker herself in her younger days.

They brought balloons and cards and Betty’s family helped her to sit on a motorbike owned by Saltburn resident John Godley.

Betty was shocked when she first saw the gathering of bikers outside the care home, remarking: “Have these all come here for me?”

She added: “I never thought I would sit on a motorbike again. I can’t believe I’m doing it on my 100th. It’s marvellous.”

Betty was born in Durban, South Africa, on 5th April 1924 and moved to England with her late husband, Ron, after the end of the Second World War, in 1945.

The couple, who had a son and daughter, opened a butcher’s shop and Betty learned to ride a motorbike so she could make deliveries, later developing an interest in speedway racing.

Betty has lived in Saltburn for the past 25 years and moved to Hazelgrove Court Care Home in May 2023, where she has found a passion for silk painting. Several of her paintings were displayed at The Palace Hub in Redcar last year as part of an exhibition of works from the care home’s elderly residents.

After the bikes rode away from Hazelgrove Court Care Home, Betty went back inside to celebrate with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as fellow residents, and staff.

There was a live performance from the Odell singers, champagne, and a buffet, when resident David Rigg proposed a toast to the centenarian and the staff team.

Betty, who lives with Parkinson’s, said: “The singers were very good to come and sing for my birthday.”

Upon opening her card from King Charles and Queen Camilla, Betty joked: “I told Charles I would like a card from him on my 100th.”

Sharon Lewis, activities coordinator at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, said: “It was a magnificent day and everyone, especially Betty, had a fantastic time.

“We would all like to say a huge thank you to the Odell Singers and the motorcyclists of Saltburn. They made Betty’s birthday extra special.”

Kirsty

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