Great Yarmouth’s Dawn gets the hump but enjoys 87th birthday

Dawn Allen of Great Yarrmouth takes a trip on a camel for her 87th birthday. Dawn Allen of Great Yarrmouth takes a trip on a camel for her 87th birthday.

Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM

A Great Yarmouth woman has proved you are never too old for a wildlife adventure – by going on a camel ride for her 87th birthday.

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Dawn Allen, who lives at the Kensington Hotel on North Drive, visited the Oasis Camel Centre, near Metfield in north Suffolk and, when the opportunity arose, took a ride on 12-year-old camel Cuthbert.

Dawn’s daughter Maria Chadderton, who has run the Kensington with business partners since moving to the coast in 2002, said: “My mother is quite a woman.

“She’s very independent and while she does struggle sometimes with mobility, all she needs is a little extra TLC. She’s not phased by much.

“We had family visiting from Birmingham and we thought we’d go to the camel park as we’d never been before.

“We were talking about going for a ride and mum was really keen, but we weren’t sure if the keepers would allow it. But they were so accommodating, they couldn’t have been nicer or kinder.

“Afterwards mum said she’d loved it.”

Maria, 50, said the family always tried to give the gift of time rather than wrapped presents to mark each others’ birthdays, which explains why her mum has already celebrated some of her milestones with a hot air balloon ride, a trip in a helicopter and a glider.

“She has a really positive mental attitude about everything she does,” added Maria.

“She was helping out and working at the hotel up until a few years ago.”

Ray Smith, who runs the Oasis Camel Centre, said there was a good chance Dawn is the oldest camel rider in East Anglia – if not the UK.

Have you done something unusual to mark a milestone birthday or anniversary? Email lauren.rogers@archant.co.uk

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