Birthday surprise for White Rose mall walker

Birthday girl Margaret Barber with husband Keith and her friends toasting her birthday at a surprise 70th birthday party at the White Rose Centre. (d13041246)
Birthday girl Margaret Barber with husband Keith and her friends toasting her birthday at a surprise 70th birthday party at the White Rose Centre. (d13041246)

A CHURWELL pensioner had the surprise of a lifetime on Friday when friends and family organised a birthday party with a difference.

Margaret and Keith Barber went along to the centre, as they do every morning, for a daily two-mile mall walk, when Keith sprang a surprise on his wife for her 70th birthday.

He said: “Twenty of our friends from way back were invited and they hid until we came up the escalator to the food court, before coming out singing Happy Birthday.

“We had white roses, a beautifully decorated cake and bucks fizz and she was gobsmacked.

“It was a real surprise for her.”

Margaret said: “It was a lovely surprise, I couldn’t believe it.”

Mall walkers meet at the White Rose before it opens the public to walk lengths of the centre as a novel way of keeping fit.

Margaret took up mall walking around three years ago but her husband claims he was the first person to take it up when the centre starting inviting people along around 10 years ago.

“It’s safe, dry and you can’t spend any money because all the shops are still closed,” said Margaret, adding that with more elderly people taking it up every year, it is also very sociable.

Mr Barber added: “I’d like to thank the White Rose Centre management and staff for all their help, they have been absolutely wonderful.”