Simon Whalley celebrated his 70th birthday on October 22nd. As a family-run business, with the feeling of belonging to the Birtley extended family encompassing Residents and staff, of course everyone was included in the celebrations.
The partying started at lunchtime with a rendition of a song which had been commissioned by our Matron, Karen Williams. The song, written by Kevin Jacot and sung by six members of staff to the tune of Mama Mia, was all about Simon and his life to date.
At 5.30pm a large number of our Residents, members of staff and invited guests, including past members of staff, assembled in the Drawing Room and Orangery and were served drinks and a delicious array of canapes made by Steve Morton and the Birtley kitchen team.
A speech by Karen, and the presentation of gifts to Simon, was followed by another rendition of Simon's song. Then we were all treated to a short concert by Lily Morton, (chef, Steve's daughter) who, aged 17 had the audience spellbound with her beautiful voice.
Simon was clearly very touched to have such a wonderful, surprise gathering and responded to Karen's speech thanking everyone for attending.