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Unique annual party event for over 90’s returns after the pandemic

The area’s only event dedicated to residents over ninety years old has returned in style after a forced break of three years due to Covid.

Ilkley and District Good Neighbours held its annual Over 90s Party at the Clarke Foley Centre where over seventy guests from Ilkley, Menston, Addingham, and Burley in Wharfedale could once again enjoy free entertainment and an afternoon tea. The party, unique in that it is the only event in the Bradford district dedicated to residents aged ninety and over, was first held thirty-five years ago and has always been a popular annual get-together.

Attending the party were a number of honoured guests including Robbie Moore MP, Ilkley Town Mayor Mark Stidworthy and his wife Mayoress Amy Stidworthy, along with Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire Suzanne Watson who represented HM King Charles.

MP Robbie Moore, Mayoress Amy Stidworthy, Mayor Mark Stidworthy, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Suzanne Watson, Town Crier Isabel Ashman and Ilkley Good Neighbours manager Lucy Steer

“When I joined Ilkley Good Neighbours in 2020 I was disappointed that we couldn’t hold the traditional Over90’s Party due to Covid” said the charity’s Manager Lucy Steer. “ I was really pleased however to have the opportunity to organise the event this year and to have the privilege to meet many of the community’s wonderful nonagenarians. I want to pay tribute to the fantastic volunteers that have helped bring it all together. And of course to the organisations who helped us with their support for our annual party and who helped us create a true community event.”

Robbie Moore MP said: “It was brilliant to spend part of this Saturday afternoon at the Over90s Party. After a long break it was good to see the party back. And it was fantastic to join over seventy residents along with Ilkley’s Town Mayor, our very own West Yorkshire Deputy Lieutenant Suzanne Watson and our awesome Town Crier Isabel Ashman for a very special occasion.

“A huge well done to all who helped organise the event and a special thanks to the Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society for a fantastic entertainment, and a huge thanks also to Jan Millard and Janet Austin of Ilkley’s Let’s Sing Together for a great “sing-a-long”.

Deputy Lord Lieutenant Suzanne Watson paid tribute to Good Neighbours and said said: “It really was such a lovely event with a fantastic show of support and input from so many local organisations, from the Ilkley Operatic Society to Let’s Sing and the Ilkley Flower Group. All of your incredibly hard work and preparation was clear to see, and I had the opportunity to hear at first hand from many of the guests just how valued and appreciated the afternoon was.”

Many of the guests attending expressed their appreciation of the event. One said: “On behalf of my mum Margaret and her neighbour Hazel, I want to pass on all our thanks for such a fabulous afternoon. They really enjoyed it.”

The party was compered by Ilkley Town Crier Isabel Ashman, looking impressively striking in her ceremonial uniform.

Manager Lucy said: “I am grateful to all of those who contributed funding to help make this happen, which included the local Co-op Community Fund, Ilkley Round Table, Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary Club, and the Clarke Foley Centre who hosted it.

“My thanks also to Ilkley Community Transport, Ilkley Flower Club, Soroptimists International of Ilkley, all of whom gave their time and resources to help make it such a successful and enjoyable afternoon for some of our elderly residents. It was truly a splendid example of our community working together across all age groups.”


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