Family throws 80th birthday celebration for Royston community stalwart

PUBLISHED: 18:26 16 May 2018

Sheila's Needham's 80th birthday party. Picture: Caroline Needham

Sheila's Needham's 80th birthday party. Picture: Caroline Needham

Archant

The family of a Royston community stalwart have thrown her an 80th birthday celebration – where she was even presented with her own Royston Crow front page.

Sheila's Needham's 80th birthday party. Picture: Caroline Needham Sheila's Needham's 80th birthday party. Picture: Caroline Needham

Sheila Needham celebrated her 80th birthday at Sheene Mill in Melbourn at the weekend – and as her letter writing to the Crow was stuff of family legend, they saw it as the perfect opportunity to give their mum a special surprise.

Her son Martyn said: “Mum has lived in the town for more than 50 years and is a familiar face in the community.

“She pretty much ran the Royston branch of St John Ambulance for years and years at the good old hut in Newmarket Road, and received a commendation from St John for all her efforts.

“I lost count of how many barn dances and cheese and wine evenings she organised to raise funds and was always on duty on Remembrance Sunday. Beforehand she sold poppies for an awful long time, going around Cherry Drive, Maple Way and Lime Grove more times than I care to remember.

Sheila's Needham's 80th birthday party. Picture: Caroline Needham Sheila's Needham's 80th birthday party. Picture: Caroline Needham

“She also gets regularly involved in the Royston blood donor sessions – sorting out tea and biscuits for the volunteers. And she spent many years working at Royston Hospital before wards closed, as well as looking after one or two old people in the town in her own time from time-to-time, doing shopping for them and keeping them company.

“So in short, she is someone who has I think contributed an awful lot to the community spirit of the town.

“One of our longstanding family jokes is the number of times over the years that she has fired off a letter to the Royston Crow when a local issue has ruffled her feathers, so we wanted this to be the theme of the front page, and she absolutley loved it.”

After the bash, Sheila said: “It was a perfect afternoon. There are some very happy memories, which I will always treasure.”

Sheila Needham with family.Sheila Needham with family.

We created a mock Royston Crow front page honouring Sheila Needham's 80th birthday - and her prolific letter writing! Picture: ArchantWe created a mock Royston Crow front page honouring Sheila Needham's 80th birthday - and her prolific letter writing! Picture: Archant

Sheila Needham.Sheila Needham.

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