Widow celebrates birthday with trip down memory lane at Solihull School - The Solihull Observer

Widow celebrates birthday with trip down memory lane at Solihull School

Solihull Editorial 18th May, 2021   0

A MILITARY widow went on a surprise trip down memory lane to celebrate her 95th birthday.

Barbara Bale was surrounded by friends when her minibus outing took an unusual diversion to Solihull School on May 7.

She was “absolutely thrilled” to find out the Royal Star and Garter, where she is a resident, had organised for Barbara to visit the place her husband Bill taught Latin for 17 years, before his death in 1969.

A number of Solihull staff were gathered outside the Headmaster’s Wing to welcome the birthday guest and presented her with a bouquet of flowers and a bound edition of A History of Solihull School 1560 to 2010.

Bill Bale, a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm during the second world war, joined Solihull School in 1952.

The well-respected and admired teacher was also an officer with the Combined Cadet Force, an outdoor education activity for pupils which is still run at the school today.

Barbara, who was a day care guest at the home before becoming a long-term resident, said: “It was a wonderful surprise, and I was absolutely thrilled.

“It was a beautiful day and I’m grateful to both Royal Star and Garter and Solihull School for making it happen.”

Royal Star and Garter driver Kevin Dempsey, who organised the visit, said: “As soon as we discovered Barbara’s close connection with Solihull School we knew this would mean the world to her.

“We’re grateful to the team in the Development and Alumni Office for helping us make this a very special day for Barbara. It was very emotional for everyone present.”

Lucy Lunt, director of development and alumni relations at Solihull School, said: “Barbara and Bill were an important part of our community for many years, so it was our pleasure to play a small part in her celebrations.

“We are always delighted to welcome back former pupils and staff.”



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