September 16 2014 Latest news:
Sam Blewett, Reporter
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
A surprise Second World War-themed party was held for a 90th birthday.
Dolly Ball, of Eyhurst Drive, Elm park, was 15 when the war broke out and her family decided to throw the 40s themed party with a twist for her landmark birthday.
When Mrs Ball went round to see her sister, Gwen Dearman, 82, in Hornchurch last Saturday she was amazed to see her family and friends waiting for her dressed up in military uniforms.
“I thought I’d get away with it but they dressed me up as the Queen - I was Queen Dorothy for the day,” said Mrs Ball.
“It was a fantastic day. There was even a German prisoner of war in the garden.”
There was also a fake bomb dug into the garden and a military jeep outside the front of the house.
She said about 40 family and friends turned up including her great-nieces and nephews.
Her sister Joan Nicholls, 79, of Brunswick Avenue, Cranham, was one of the organisers of the surprise bash.
“It was wonderful and Dolly was really shocked,” she said. “She got quite emotional seeing everybody there all dressed up.
“The idea was a great laugh. It just really snowballed.”
Mrs Ball said she spent most of the war underground, working in Gants Hill Station making speakers and munitions for electronics and defence company Plessey during the day.
“I’d go to work, come home and then often have to go down the air raid shelter under ground,” she said.
Mrs Ball even met her husband, who has since passed away, during the war and they married in 1945 as the battles came to and end.