Five generations celebrate woman’s 100th birthday

Emma Jay (centre) celebrates her 100th birthday with a party at the Assembly House.With her great gr

Emma Jay (centre) celebrates her 100th birthday with a party at the Assembly House.With her great grandson Liam McCutcheon (left), Connor Stone (front), Tyler Lindsay (2nd right) and baby Louie Kemp. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Most people are surrounded by loved ones on their birthday, but not everyone gets to celebrate with their great-great-grandchildren.

Emma Jay (centre) celebrates her 100th birthday with a party at the Assembly House.With her children

Emma Jay (centre) celebrates her 100th birthday with a party at the Assembly House.With her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Emma Jay, from Norwich, spent her 100th birthday at Norwich's Assembly House yesterday, at a surprise party organised by her family.

Among the guests were her two daughters, Sue Tooke and Jenny Thornton, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

Those who dropped in to wish her well included her oldest friend who has been in her life since 1947, family members from New Zealand via video link and even the cast of the Theatre Royal's pantomime, Snow White.

After a heartfelt speech, Mrs Jay was surprised by former Brookside star Jennifer Ellison, who plays Queen Evilynne, renowned pantomime dame Richard Gauntlett, who appears as Nurse Dorothy Dumplinge, and the rest of the cast.

Singing Happy Birthday to the centenarian, they almost stole the limelight.

Mrs Jay said: 'This is all such a surprise and it is so lovely. I got my card from the Queen too and we are going to see the pantomime tonight. I have only been once before in my life.'

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Having lived in Norwich for a century, Mrs Jay is the eldest of 13 siblings and married her late husband, Bob, in the city in 1940.

Unable to pick her most memorable incident from the last 100 years, she said: 'It has been every single moment, I never thought I would get here.

'I have a shelf with all of my memories on it, of where I have been on holiday – I had some lovely holidays – and my family, and this will go there too. It has been so lovely.'

If you know someone celebrating a landmark moment, email jemma.walker@archant.co.uk