100th Birthday Celebrations (August 2009)

After celebrating his 100th birthday with a family party in July, William (Bill) James Gascoigne decided he also wanted a celebration with his friends from the West Huntspill Day Centre, where he has been a regular member for eleven years.


Bill’s extra birthday treat was an outing to the Tea Rooms at the Walled Gardens of Cannington. The group arrived just as the afternoon began to brighten up, and after a lovely cream tea with homemade scones and jams, they had a stroll around the gardens which are still in full bloom and browsed in the plant and gift shop.


Ann Storar, the Day Centre Manager said, “We try to bring members out on trips as often as possible, and as Bill really wanted to treat his friends for his birthday, he thought it would be nice to come here for a cream tea and a walk around the gardens. Bill has been coming to the Day Centre since 2nd November 2000 and is our longest attending member.”


The Day Centre is run by volunteers and meet every Thursday in West Huntspill.


Bill was born on 7 July 1909 in North Muskham, Nottinghamshire and was the second child of five. In 1967 Bill and his family (wife Eva and their five children) moved to Wembdon, when Bill started working as Clerk of Works for Hinkley Point power station. He retired in 1975 and in 1976 moved to West Huntspill – although has continued to work on various jobs over the years, even project managing the refurbishment of the Orchard Inn (West Huntspill) aged 76! At the age of 95, Bill took his first flight, which was to Barcelona for his granddaughter’s wedding. “It was the trip of a lifetime!” said Bill.


The Walled Gardens of Cannington are open daily from 10am (Mon-Fri after 26 October). To find out about events at the Walled Gardens of Cannington, or for more information, call 01278 655042.