The big reunion! 60 relatives reunite for sisters’ birthdays

Anne Dalton with her family and friends at her birthday celebrations. Ref sho 11-17TI 8597. Picture:

Anne Dalton with her family and friends at her birthday celebrations. Ref sho 11-17TI 8597. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

An Ottery woman - ‘sick’ of only seeing her large family at funerals - has enjoyed a birthday to remember as more than 60 relatives reunited for her 70th birthday.

Anne Dalton with her son Jason from Australia at her birthday celebrations. Ref sho 11-17TI 8606. Pi

Anne Dalton with her son Jason from Australia at her birthday celebrations. Ref sho 11-17TI 8606. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Anne Dalton, nee Thompson, invited members from her mother’s side to a joint birthday party with her sister Margot.

The sisters were born 17 years apart on March 10 and joined forces to bring the family together at Ottery St Mary Football Club on Saturday.

Anne, of Coleridge Road, said: “We are such a big family, but the only time we see each other is at funerals - and I am sick of it.

“It’s amazing they are making an effort; we are just an ordinary family. We do not live in each other’s pockets, but if we do anything, everyone makes an effort. It only takes anyone having an idea and we do it.”


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Four generations of the Thompson family have ties to the town, dating back into the 1800s.

Anne was born in Kidney Bean Square, Sandhill Street, before moving to Bridgefield and was the first in the family to attend The King’s School.

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The youngest of four, Anne moved away from Ottery to serve in the Women’s RAF, taking her to bases across the world, before returning to raise her children in the town.

“We always came home for Tar Barrels night, rather than Christmas,” said Anne.

The grandmother-of-four said the last full family reunion was her mother Lil’s 95th birthday in 1998.

Anne added: “If we get a big number of us, it is without the children, but I wanted to have the children there.”

On Saturday, 64 people, including 24 children, attended the afternoon tea, which included four birthday cakes, followed by music.

Her eldest son, Jason, flew back from Australia to surprise his mum to join his relatives, who came from around East Devon, Somerset, and as far as Warrington, at the event.

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