Midlands binman surprises woman on her 100th birthday

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Midlands Reporter Ben Chapman

A Midlands binman has told ITV News how he fulfilled a special pledge to an elderly woman on his round.

Ben Bird promised Dorothy Ballard - also known as Mercy - he would bring her a cake if she reached her 100th birthday.

And when Dorothy reached the milestone this week and received a telegram from the Queen, Ben kept his word.

Dorothy was overjoyed to see the binman walk up her garden path with a surprise birthday cake singing 'Happy Birthday' along with two colleagues., telling Ben they would be "best friends" from now on.

Ben told ITV News: "I talk to her every Thursday from 8am to 8.10am and every time I walk up her garden path she will be there waiting for me.

Ben delivering the cake to Dorothy on her birthday. Credit: ITV News

"I never have a cup of tea or anything like that, I wouldn't let her go to that trouble. I just then run after the other two lads to catch them up.

"I've been a binman for about 11 years and love listening to her stories about her life - having been born in 1919 she can hardly believe what technology can do now and she can't get her head round my phone.

"When I was taking the selfie of us with my two colleagues she was saying 'Where do I look?'"

Dorothy has lived in the same road in Birmingham for 74 years.

Katy Smith, Dorothy's second eldest great grandchild, told ITV News: "My great gran always speaks so highly of her binman Ben.

"So I messaged him to thank him that he made her day.

"We all feel very blessed to have her, she has a great sense of humour and is loved by so many. We treasure every moment."