BIRTHDAY GIRL: Mrs Eileen Hunter shares a joke with her daughter Jan Swinburn, left, and care home manager Anne Johnson
BIRTHDAY GIRL: Mrs Eileen Hunter shares a joke with her daughter Jan Swinburn, left, and care home manager Anne Johnson

A DALE resident celebrated in style when she marked a special anniversary by having two parties instead of one.

Eileen Hunter was treated to a pair of celebrations to mark her 100th birthday.

Mrs Hunter, who lives at Beaconsfield Court Care Home, in Barnard Castle, was treated to a pre-birthday bash organised by staff and residents at the home complete with champagne and cake and music from school children. Then, a couple of days later, close family and friends helped her open her cards and presents in another, more intimate affair with 38 members of her family including two daughters, seven grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and ten great great grandchildren. There was also another cake baked by her granddaughters Millie and Lydia.

Mrs Hunter was born in Gateshead but spent most of her adult life at Ryton, Tyne and Wear, though she was a regular visitor to Barnard Castle and “fell in love with the place”.

Northallerton Heating

She made the move to Barnard Castle only five years ago following the death of her husband of more than 60 years, Tom, to be closer to her daughter Jan Swinburn, who is a long-term resident of the town. As well as being a devoted mother to Jan and June, Mrs Hunter said she enjoyed a varied career with jobs including a Pitman shorthand teacher.

But she found her calling working as a doctor’s receptionist and says she did not want to retire when the time came. However she filled her time at the WI and racked up more than 70 years as an active member.

These days are a little quieter for Mrs Hunter though she enjoyed the attention on for her special day.