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Staff perform for resident's 103rd birthday

20th September 2006

A Barchester Care Home resident has been celebrating her 103rd birthday in style.

Ex-tiller girl Helena Elias celebrated her birthday earlier this month in style when staff at Barchester's West Abbey Care Centre in Yeovil dressed up in tiller girl outfits and performed a routine in her honour.

Ms Elias worked with a troupe of tiller girls, travelling the world for 25 years until 1940 when they were forced to leave France following the German invasion. At one time, she appeared on Broadway in New York and at the Casino de Paris in France.

"I had a lovely day," Ms Elias told the Western Gazette.

"The dancing from the staff was quite good and it brought back a lot of happy memories for me. I can still clearly recall my apprentice days with the Meritots dance troupe and the wonderful times I had in New York, Paris and Egypt."

Margaret Shylan, general manager at West Abbey, said that the day had been "a very interesting and happy time for the staff and residents".

The celebrations were also attended by Yeovil MP David Laws and Somerset District Council chairman Dave Greene.