Viva Bodicote! Pub landlady gets a magnificent 60th birthday drive-by to make up for Las Vegas trip disappointment

A Bodicote pub landlady received a unique birthday surprise from village residents after her trip to Las Vegas had to be cancelled.

By Roseanne Edwards
Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 11:24 am
Julie Brain enjoys the love of friends and neighbours at her 60th birthday drive-by. Picture by Clarke Penrice
Julie Brain enjoys the love of friends and neighbours at her 60th birthday drive-by. Picture by Clarke Penrice

The coronavirus lockdown meant Julie Brain - the popular landlady of the Horse and Jockey pub - was unable to go on her dream holiday with husband Martin and 22 friends to celebrate her sixtieth.

But behind the lockdown scenes, villagers and friends were hatching an alternative celebration for her - a drive by.

On the big day, Sunday, cars adorned with messages, balloons and decorations secretly gathered in a procession at Town Furlong, at one end of the village ready for the trip past the pub.

Cards, gifts and champagne helped to make Sunday a very special birthday for Julie Brain

Meanwhile Mrs Brain had been woken up to a blast of Viva Las Vegas - but little did she know what was ahead.

Friend Karen Penrice said: "More than 30 cars joined in the celebrations. Kirsty Maycock and Kay Jones had created a secret Facebook page and the list of those wanting to join in with the surprise birthday procession grew.

"The procession drove up to the roundabout and back again passing the pub to wave, sing shout and toot to wish Julie a very happy 60th birthday. There were horns, balloons and bells and all the cars were decorated. It was great to see how the strong community spirit we have here in Bodicote was captured.

"All the villagers came out to see the parade. Disney would have been proud," she said.

The procession along Bodicote High Street for Julie Brain's 60th birthday

Mr Brain was in on the secret and took his wife outside at the appointed time.

"It was absolutely amazing. I couldn't believe it. I didn't have a clue," said Mrs Brain.

"I've never had anything like this happen to me before. It was so lovely - I was given so many cards, gifts, champagne and money and we're hoping to go on our trip to Las Vegas next year."

Photos by Clarke Penrice.

Some decorated their bicycles to join the procession
Julie Brain with her family on her 60th birthday on Sunday
Julie Brain should have been in Las Vegas but was given an amazing birthday during the coronavirus lockdown
Villagers found innovative ways to say Happy Birthday to pub landlady Julie Brain during lockdown
Julie Brain, landlady of the Horse and Jockey, Bodicote looks at one of the many messages created for her 60th birthday
One of more than 30 cars decorated for Sunday's birthday drive-by