Shropshire Star

Why Cosford Air show is so special to Barbara as she approaches her 107th birthday

It is a hot ticket which has virtually sold out, but residents of a care home in the flight path of the RAF Cosford Air Show won't worry about that and to one of them – well she has seen it all before.


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Barbara Bowdler turns 107 on June 20 – a First World War baby - and part of the annual airs how garden party on Sunday at the Old Rectory Care Home in Albrighton will be dedicated to her and her memories of life down the years in what is the week of the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The home is almost within a mile of RAF Cosford so all the sounds, sights of the aircraft flying over, and smell of engine fuel are regularly experienced by the residents and staff.

Their open day usually sees around 150 guests visit including staff and residents' families but this year 180 tickets have been sold.

Fundraising this year has taken place for a 'Tiny Tablet' – a computer on wheels which can be used by multiple residents of the home at the same time. It provides wide range of interactive activities designed for entertainment, cognitive stimulation, and social interaction.

Barbara enjoyed her 106th birthday last year as a part with family and friends was held.

Two of the staff, Jodie Watson and Sophie Hollis have already completed a climb up Mount Snowdon with Tessy their 14 year old dog and through sponsorship raised £350 towards the £7,000 cost of the tablet. Fundraising will also take place on Sunday when hopefully the weather will be fine and visitors can enjoy a hog roast, BBQ, beer tent, entertainment and games for the children.

Staff are also trying to reach a target of 107 cards for Barbara for her big day so all families are being asked to bring one along.

Karyn Holmes, the manager at Old Rectory said the air show weekend was always a special occasion for everyone involved.

She said: "Touch wood we have enjoyed good weather in all the years we have been running it and everyone likes to see the planes fly over, the residents certainly do and I think the visitors as well.

"The directors have paid for the food and drink so any other money raised will go into the social fund which this year willbe put towards the Tiny Tablet which will be of benefit to all the residents."

"We are buying the 107 cards and distributing them to staff and their families to write, as well as one of the local schools – Barbrara loves to read newspapers, books, old letters, anything really so she will hopefully appreciate looking at them all."