NEARLY a hundred guests attended a party for the over 90s on Saturday at the Clarke Foley Centre, Ilkley.

Organised by Ilkley and District Good Neighbours, the party was first held in 1994 and is unique in the Bradford district, being the only one dedicated to residents aged 90 and over.

Free entertainment and afternoon tea were served to guests from Addingham, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Ilkley and Menston. They were well looked after by volunteers from many local community groups and young people from Ilkley Grammar School and Wharfedale Air Cadets.

Many of the guests are now in care homes so the party is one of the few opportunities in the year for them to meet up with people they first met many years ago.

HM the Queen was represented by David Pearson, Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire and other honoured guests were the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Abid Hussein, Councillor Stephen Butler, Chairman of Ilkley Parish Council and Mrs Kate Butler, and Councillor Brian Mann and Mrs Sylvia Mann.

The guests were welcomed with a medley of 1940’s tunes played by pianist Myra Johnson and later by Steph Atkinson on the saxophone. Following afternoon tea, the event finished with community singing led by Shirley Britton and Michael Loftus. The party was compered by Isabel Ashman, Ilkley Town Crier, who looked very striking in her ceremonial uniform.

Volunteers and funding came from many local groups including: Ilkley Community Transport, Community Action Ilkley, Ilkley and District Round Table, The Clarke Foley Centre, Ilkley Flower Club, Rotary Club of Ilkley Wharfedale, Soroptomists International of Ilkley, students from Ilkley Grammar School and Wharfedale Air Cadets.

Next year’s Over 90s party will be funded by the Coop Community Fund whose support is gratefully received.