OAP's birthday at hotel she called home

AN 81-year-old birthday girl celebrated her special day in a Suffolk hotel which she once called home.

AN 81-year-old birthday girl celebrated her special day in a Suffolk hotel which she once called home.

Claydon pensioner Cynthia Hodgson lived at The Claydon Country House Hotel between 1969 and 1986, before it had been converted into a hotel.

Her birthday, on April 28, was the first time Mrs Hodgson, of Edinburgh Gardens, had returned to the building, which initially became a bed and breakfast facility before becoming part of the Best Western chain of hotels.

Friends and family joined her to celebrate.

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Mrs Hodgson's daughter, Shirley Clayton, 55, of Fountains Road, Ipswich, arranged the special occasion. She said: “I was really keen to organise a nice gathering to mark my mother's birthday this year, and it seemed really appropriate to do it at her old home.

“As a family, this is the first time we have been in the property since it was transformed into a hotel.”

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Mrs Clayton said the last time she had visited the property was almost 15 years ago and said the family had many happy memories of the hotel, which has managed to maintain its glamour and grandeur.

The only family member not present was Mrs Clayton's older sister, Rita, who died late last year at the age of 58.

Mrs Clayton's husband, Carl, said his mother-in-law had enjoyed a fantastic day.

“It was a fabulous day,” he said. “The weather was great and she was overwhelmed to see everyone.”

Roger Aston, general manager of the Claydon Country House Hotel, added: “It is very unusual to be asked to host someone who you know used to live in the property, so we all feel very privileged.”

Claydon Country House Hotel is a 36 bedroom hotel with its own function suite and a private dining room known as the Crystal room.

Have you enjoyed an unusual birthday? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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