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Charity and NHS birthday party double for Gedney Hill couple




BIRTHDAY COUPLE: Eric and Marilyn Collishaw, with family, friends and neighbours, have a 70th birthday hog roast party for Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at their home in Gedney Hill. Photo by Tim Wilson. 070718187SG.
BIRTHDAY COUPLE: Eric and Marilyn Collishaw, with family, friends and neighbours, have a 70th birthday hog roast party for Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance at their home in Gedney Hill. Photo by Tim Wilson. 070718187SG.

A Gedney Hill couple who were born at the same hospital, on the same day, celebrated their joint birthday with 100 guests on Saturday.

But Eric and Marilyn Collishaw (both 70) were keen to ensure that their unique connection was made even more special by having their charity birthday party just two days after the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

The Collishaws, who have two sons and four grandchildren, were the first couple born at Holbeach Hospital under the NHS which started on July 5, 1948.

Eric and Marilyn Collishaw with one of the 70th birthday cakes made for them. Photo by Tim Wilson. 070718188SG.
Eric and Marilyn Collishaw with one of the 70th birthday cakes made for them. Photo by Tim Wilson. 070718188SG.

It was another 18 years before they met on a Saturday night in Holbeach in 1966, topically just four months after England won football's World Cup on home soil.

Eric said: "We've been married for nearly 48 years.

"But because we're two years short of our 50th wedding anniversary, we thought we'd have a birthday party to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

"The party went fantastically well, everybody enjoyed it and we had about 100 guests, including family, friends, neighbours and even a family who have just moved from Scotland to work in the area.

"Marilyn and I thought that we'd welcome them into the area by inviting them to the party which was just a meet, greet and eat night, with disco music in the background."

The party raised just over £800 for Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, a charity chosen by the Collishaws after one of their sons was critically injured in a crash just outside Holbeach in 2006.

Eric said: "It was a hard decision to choose a charity because there are so many good ones.

"But the air ambulance played a big part in saving his life because he was flown to Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, first and then taken to Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, where he was in intensive care.

"Our son was 34 at the time of the accident and ever since then, we've always told people 'no birthday presents, just donations to the air ambulance'.

"But even with that, Marilyn and I think it's very unique that we were born on the same day and so close to the start of the NHS."



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