THE first baby to be born in Weymouth's Portwey Hospital 60 years ago has returned to the town from Canada to celebrate her birthday.

Diane Plant will join 47 family and friends for a day of fun and games this Sunday at the Victory Hall in Charlestown to mark the occasion.

In the early hours of August 17, 1948, Diane's mother Joan Mullins was taken by ambulance to Kildare maternity home in Dorchester Road, Weymouth only to be told there were no beds available.

Diane said: "They said Take her to the new hospital' and when my dad and the ambulance man said It's not open yet', they were told to wake the nurse and get the key.

"They drove to Wyke Road. My dad stayed with mum as the ambulance driver got the nurse and mum and the nurse went into the completely empty building together.

"It used to be a big old workhouse and it was quite scary.

"The nurse even asked mum if she could stay in the ward with her because she was too scared to be in the nurses' station on her own."

Diane was born at 7.10am, declared the first baby to be born at the Portwey Hospital and presented with a silver spoon.

In 1970 and 1972 she returned to the hospital to give birth to her two sons Matthew and Martin, before she and her first husband emigrated from Weymouth to Canada. When the hospital closed in 1987 Diane's parents attended a function and were presented with a painting of the building on their daughter's behalf.

It now hangs on a wall in her home in Montreal, Canada, where she lives with her second husband Jamie Plant.

This weekend guests to her birthday celebrations will include mum Joan, who is now 80, her brother Dennis and four sisters Sue, Elizabeth, Claire and Alison and their families.

Diane said: "Mum always used to say she could tell I was born with a silver spoon, always wanting the finer things in life.

"Give me the champagne any time. I hope there's some on Sunday."