A family hired a cherry picker so they could surprise a 100-year-old on her birthday – while following lockdown guidelines.
Bob Beauchamp, his daughter Kate and others rented the crane so they could reach the window of relative Winifred Cleaver’s flat.
They delivered a card and balloons while suspended in the sky outside her building in Henbury, Bristol – with a crowd of around a hundred people cheering them on below.
The family had originally planned to celebrate Ms Cleaver’s big day at the SS Great Britain, a local tourist attraction.
But the outbreak of coronavirus forced them to scrap those plans – leaving them unsure what to do.
A friend then jokingly suggested to Kate, 45, that they hire a cherry picker – which the family decided was the perfect idea.
Bob – Ms Cleaver’s nephew – delivered her cards and ‘100’ balloons to her window while other relatives looked on from below.
The family then took it in turns to ride on the machine and pass on their congratulations from a safe distance.
The local fire service also attended and used its own cherry picker to pass on their best wishes to the centenarian, who is known as Win.
Bob, 69, said: “Win is an incredible person.
“While being hard of hearing and having poor eyesight, she is mentally as agile as ever and fully aware of what is happening in the world.
“The celebrations continued in the afternoon. It was lovely that the community came together.
“There were something like a hundred of the local residents on the lawn outside to sing ‘Happy Birthday’, wave flags and listen to recorded WW2 music.”
Kate added: “We really wanted to see Win for her birthday and being on the third floor, it had seemed impossible – until a friend gave me the idea for the cherry picker!
“Except for a hospital visit, Win has not left her flat since she spent Christmas with us.
“The youngest family member who came to see her was her great-great-nice, aged two. The family spans two to 100!
“We are a close family and Win has always been included in all family events. She is supported to live independently at home by meals on wheels and her carers.
“She couldn’t believe that everyone had come to see her, let alone any media interest!”
Ms Cleaver never married nor had any children, Bob said, and for the past decade she has lived on her own.