“I WAS absolutely gobsmacked,” said Barbara King moments after five generations of her family trooped through her door.
The resident of Eric Long Court in Liden will turn 85 on Wednesday, August 6, but the family decided to celebrate early so that representatives from all five generations could be there.
Barbara sadly lost her sons Morris and Stephen some years ago but her daughter Lynne Hughes, nieces, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were all there to help her celebrate.
She said: “I knew that Natalie and the three children were coming but I had no idea that everyone would be here. I was just gobsmacked.
“It means a heck of a lot to me to see them all here. They mean the world to me, they really do.
“It’s amazing that they could all be here today.
“I usually hold a party at New Year and everyone comes along to that and it’s so lovely having all this organised for me instead.
“The children love it because they get to meet up with each other and see each other.”
The family arranged a spread of cakes and nibbly treats in a buffet to enjoy, with everyone bringing something along to share.
The whole thing was organised by Lynne and Barbara’s grand-daughter-in-law, Nicola Wright.
The 44-year-old from Nythe said: “Every year she always arranges a get-together for the whole family, that’s just what she does. She loves family.
“She always thinks of everything too, down to party hats and treats for the children.
“She always likes to know what everyone is doing and be kept up to date and in touch.
“We just wanted to do something for her for a change.
“We had to organise it very much on the quiet, by messaging everyone through Facebook.
“She knew some people were coming because they had to come up from Cornwall and they are staying for a few days, but she didn’t expect all this.
“It means so much to her and she was so surprised.
“We just put on a little buffet for everyone to enjoy and everyone brought something to share.
“It was a really good evening and everybody really enjoyed themselves and she was so pleased so many people could come along.”
One of the youngest members of the family, little Amelia Smith, was also delighted to be involved in the proceedings.
The four-year-old great great granddaughter to Barbara from Penhill said: “I love going to see Nana King. We took her to the park and she didn’t have a clue about the surprise party. It was really fun and I really liked making all the cakes.”