STAFF at a lightning struck Lockerbie care home went the extra mile to ensure it did not spoil special 100th birthday celebrations.
Employees were adamant Mrs Fairbairn’s celebrations this week should go along as normal, and organised for five Lockerbie firemen to carry the birthday girl down two sets of stairs.
The home’s care manager, Sandra Cooke, said: “When the lightning struck it blew two circuits in the elevator, but at first we didn’t realise two had blown.
“When the repair man came he only brought one replacement and, with it being a bank holiday weekend, ordering another was more difficult than usual.”
She added: “It was a challenge, but we all rallied round.
“We tried to get help from the ambulance service and the fire service, who were more than happy to help on the day.”
As well as making arrangements with local fire officers,Sandra drove to Halifax to pick up an ‘evac chair’ for Mrs Fairbairn, to make sure her grand entrance to her party went smoothly.
Sandra said: “The firemen were fantastic. Alice loved every minute of it and said it made her day more memorable and exciting.
“It was a very unusual thing that happened, for the lightning to strike, but everything went brilliantly anyway.”
Mrs Fairbairn’s son, Ian, was pleased by all the effort that went into making his mother’s birthday special.
He said: “I’ve never understood what people mean when they talk about ‘growing old gracefullyí, but after seeing my mum brought down the stairs to her 100th birthday party by men from the local fire service I’m sure that it’s possible to grow old in style.”
Mrs Fairbairn, who was born in 1915 in Edinburgh, was joined on Tuesday by her son, grandchildren and great-children, with some relatives travelling from as far as Germany and the USA to be with her on her special day.
She was also presented with a amessage of congratulations on behalf of the Queen by Lord Lieutenant Jean Tulloch.