MOST centenarians will celebrate reaching triple figures with a congratulatory letter from Buckingham Palace.
But one thrill-seeking capital resident has marked her upcoming 100th birthday by hopping on the back of a Harley Davidson tricycle to take part in a motorcycle cavalcade featuring a number of retro bikes.
Helen Kennedy will celebrate her centenary on December 31, but was given the opportunity to ride as part of the 100-strong group along the seafront of her home town of South Queensferry on Thursday.
Helen, a resident at the Camilla House nursing home on Grange Terrace, described it as a “dream,” adding: “I’ve never had a day quite like it, it was just incredible. Everyone there was so nice, I couldn’t believe it when I realised what was going on. Nobody had told me about it before we left and I was surprised when we got there and saw all the bikes lined up.”
The convoy left from the seafront outside the Hawes Inn, heading straight through the centre of the town and over the new Queensferry Crossing before winding back through South Queensferry to the original start point.
“I’ve always really loved motorbikes, so to get on the back of one was just a dream,” said Helen.
“I wasn’t really sure what to do, where to hold on to or where to put my hands, it was just so exciting. I’ve never really done anything like that before and I had to thank all of the bikers afterwards for keeping me safe.”
The event was organised by care home staff, with help from local motorcycle enthusiasts at the Biker’s Cove cafe in South Queensferry as riders from across the Lothians and Fife came to join in with the parade. The group even stayed after for a celebration of Helen’s hundreth birthday, presenting her with a card signed by all the riding members of the cavalcade.
It was an emotional day for Helen, who grew up in South Queensferry alongside her twin sisters before moving into Edinburgh as a teenager.
She admitted she was surprised about how much had changed since her last visit a number of years ago.
Helen said: “Everything looks do different to the way I remember it when I was young.”
“I remember I used to love it right down by the seafront, I used to along there all the time, but even that is different now. There aren’t as many boats.”