AN ADVENTUROUS centenarian celebrated her 106th birthday yesterday with a trip around Dorset in a helicopter.
Hilda Baybutt from Glenhurst Manor, on West Cliff Road, described it as the ‘best birthday ever’ after she was treated to surprise flight, following a drive to Spetisbury Manor, near Blandford, with son, Nick.
The helicopter then flew over her home in Bournemouth, having lived in the area for 84 years, and landed at Chewton Glen for afternoon tea, before she was flown back to Spetisbury again.
Mrs Baybutt said that she felt like a movie star for the day and that her birthday should have been re-named ‘surprise day’ as the day was so full of unexpected events.
She added: “I couldn’t find enough words to describe how I was feeling. The whole day was one big surprise. I went in a helicopter when I was 102, which was wonderful, and now I have been in one this year.
“I have never had a birthday like this before. I don’t know if it is any different to being 100, but I don’t really feel 106. I feel that I am doing very well for it.”
Son, Nick, said: “She’s been a wonderful mother for all my years and I love her very dearly.
He added: “She looks very young for her age and I am grateful for having her as my mother.”
Mrs Baybutt added that she wishes she knew the secret to reaching 106 because she would write a book and make a lot of money, but believes it may simply be down to luck.
Cllr Rod Cooper, Mayor of Bournemouth, said: “I’d like to wish Mrs Baybutt a very happy birthday on behalf of Bournemouth Council.”
He added: “We hope she had a lovely day with her friends and family. What a great achievement to reach 106 years-of-age.”
The event also aimed to celebrate 25 years of Glenhurst Manor.