Welcome to Bridgemead

Open Reception : Monday to Friday - 9am to 5pm
  Contact : 01225 484904

All posts by Bridgemead

Bridgemead Christmas Fayre

All welcome to Bridgemead Christmas Fayre on Saturday 2nd December at 2.30pm. We have stalls offering:

  • Craft items of purses, jewellery wraps, peg bags, Christmas table runners, hand painted silk scarves
  • Phoenix cards
  • Homemade cakes
  • Book stall
  • Christmas tombola
  • A hamper raffle
  • General raffle
  • £1 stall
  • Delicious refreshments

This festive event will take place at Bridgemead, and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

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Murder Mystery solved and raised over £1000!

Una McCullough, Chair of Bridgemead Friends, says “The Murder Mystery evening at  Long’s Arms at South Wraxall was a great success. There were  45 guests and nearly all of the guests, or suspects, dressed up so they could be questioned and the murder solved. I think the Elvis impersonator, Mr Lee Hayward, was great, even down to a convincing drawl.

The Mystery was set mostly in Atlantic City, outside a Casino, and the murderer was revealed at the end of the meal.

The food was delicious – a lovely three course meal which was cooked, served and very generously donated by Rob and Liz of the Long’s Arms. They allowed us to use their pub  free of charge, whilst donating the whole evening to Bridgemead – we are very grateful. Many thanks to Pam and Bev who organised the whole event.”








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Betty Cooper’s new book: A Run Ashore

Betty Cooper, aged 96, has just published the sparkling ‘A Run Ashore’, chronicling a life well-travelled. Her adventures take her from the age of 9 in the ’Villa Azur’ in the French Riviera, to working and living in India, Singapore, Cairo, in the war and then Greece and South Africa in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Writing the book

Betty says; “I did not want to write an autobiography, but a travel book. I wanted something to do, in retirement; I’ve always worked.  I’m very fond of travel; always love to get up and go, so I thought this is what I’ll write about. It has taken me exactly one year to write.”

‘A Run Ashore’

She explains the title of her book: “When I was bad tempered at Haslar in Gosport, at home with a very small child my husband said: ‘What you need is a run ashore, we’ll work on it.’ It is a naval term for stressed sailors far from home who are given some shore leave to revitalise them.”

The War

Betty studied social science at Bedford College, University of London and was evacuated to finish her studies at Cambridge, which she describes as “intoxicating!” She continued to train at the Institute of Personnel Management and worked in Tyneside, Hull, London and Birmingham.

The Warning

In 1945 she joined Red Cross to become a ‘Service Hospitals Welfare Officer’ and prepared to serve in India. She was warned by Dame Beryl Oliver:

‘remember that on your travels you will meet men and face many temptations. One glass of sherry may be most enjoyable, but too many and a Gel may forget herself.’



I was sent to Bombay and then in to deeper India and Bangalore, where I was Quarter-Master of a convalescent hospital. I went to a tea plantation and to a hill station in Ootacamund where there was a Hunt Ball at the Ooti Club. We ate well and there were dances but many simple folk looked at me with fear in their eyes… I was an Intruder.”


Next, she was sent to Singapore to locate Japanese-held prisoners of war to send home for rehabilitation. Living in Raffles Hotel was ‘marvellous, especially from the boyfriend point of view. The hotel was dowdy, but it was so exciting – we had the time of our lives as there were so few girls there. However, I did become engaged to a married man…’


Her next posting was Cairo. ‘I’ve always liked the Middle East. Cairo was a fascinating and often evil city.” She travelled widely in Syria and Lebanon.



In 1948 she returned to England to work at the British Council, meeting Anthony Blunt and Roberto Rossellini among others. She also met and married her husband, John. “We were a very happy couple,” she says. Betty travelled with him to Greece when he was posted to the British Naval Mission in Athens, and then to Simons Town, South Africa.

Betty says of her daughters Judith and Sarie: “My two daughters have both been looking after me so well. They are both exceptionally nice people and I’m very proud of them. They are very well-travelled and have lived abroad a lot.”


“Bridgemead is a marvellous place, absolutely splendid. I can only speak highly of it. It’s terrific and I’m all in favour of it – it’s quite wonderful.”

It was a great pleasure to meet Betty and hear and read about glittering travels. She was very pleased to have her book published and is delighted with the cover designed by her god-daughter.

Her book is on sale in Oldfield Park Bookshop and at the Holburne Museum.

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Generations together

Some Bridgemead residents went to visit Widcombe Acorns Pre-School on Wednesday 18th October. Dena Moore, the nursery manager says:

“What a wonderful time we had meeting some of your residents yesterday, the children have talked of nothing else, and I have had such lovely e-mails from some of the parents this morning saying that their children told them all about it. Such a great result, I really hope that our visitors enjoyed themselves as much as we did welcoming them.”

Transport ideas?

Pam, Michelle and Dena are trying to arrange a regular activities afternoon where the children come to Bridgemead, rather than taking residents to the Pre-School, but the sticking point at the moment is affordable transport. They are investigating how to achieve this, as Dena says: “I am even more determined to make this work after seeing how happy our new friends looked as they played, it has given me a huge warm glow inside!”

If anyone can help or has any ideas please contact Pam.



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Bridgemead rebranded!

Bridgemead’s new branding is revealed today. We needed to refresh our image after 25 years and want our new logo to reflect, in a modern way, some of the best things about Bridgemead. We asked our staff and others to say what Bridgemead means to them.  Main themes were:
    • Caring
    • Family
    • Community
    • Homely
    • Inclusive
    • River setting
    • Environment (trees,wild life, etc)
    • Location near Cleveland Bridge
    • Good food.

A logo was designed by Mytton Williams based on this research and incorporating the reliefs on Cleveland Bridge.

The symbol from the bridge is shown in two colours: the bridge and its reflection in the river. The colour for the bridge was selected to represent the environment (trees, foliage, etc). The whole image symbolises a community setting, people gathered together in a circle, eating together or enjoying friendship, all of which which we feel are at the heart of Bridgemead.
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World’s largest jigsaw puzzle donated to Bridgemead

Mr James and Mrs Joanna Whitehead, owners of the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle –  about 6m wide and 1.5m high when assembled, and 32,256 pieces, donated it to Bridgemead today.

Mr Whitehead says: “My wife Joanna and I were one of the first to complete the puzzle in the UK not long after it came out. We have only made it once after which we took it apart in large panels and put it into bags back into its rather large box. Rather than selling it on, we wanted to find a community group that might enjoy assembling it and are very happy to give it to Bridgemead.”“We bought the puzzle as a nice challenge and really enjoyed chatting together as we put it together. It took us 8 weeks in total to complete, but that was before we had children!” Mr and Mrs Whitehead enjoy a challenge, they set up the world’s largest Umbrella Dance in Laura Place in 2009 and the world’s largest Group Waltz in Abbey Square in 2008.Their daughters Lydia (2) and Freya (14 weeks) joined them at the presentation.



The Mayor of Bath, Cllr Ian Gilchrist thought of Bridgemead straight away when Mr  and Mrs Whitehead asked him to suggest a home for the giant puzzle. When visiting his mother in her care home he saw how much pleasure the residents gained from completing puzzles. He said “Bridgemead occupies a position of great respect and authority in the world of Care Homes, so it was the first place I thought of as a recipient for the puzzle.”

Marian McNeir, MBE, Patron of Bridgemead, said: “We are thrilled to receive this most unusual gift: the largest puzzle in the world, which even has its own trolley! It will great fun for the residents and we will also invite some of the children in local schools to come and help.  When completed we will be auctioning it at our charity auction at the Gainsborough Hotel on 7th March 2018.”

Listen to the interview on Radio Bristol on 20th October

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Murder Mystery Evening

Murder Mystery Evening, organised by Friends of Bridgemead will take place on Friday 27 October at 7pm at the ‘Longs Arms’, South Wraxall.
Tickets are available from Rosemary at Bridgemead reception at £25 for a delicious three course meal and entertainment where the plot thickens….

Many thanks to Rob and Liz for hosting.

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Rock of Life support Bridgemead

Thank you to Rock of Life who are performing at Widcombe Baptist Church, Pulteney Rd Bath BA2 4JR, on Saturday 11th November at 7.30 in aid of three Bath charities: Bridgemead, Emmaus School, and The Life Project.

There will be a Christmas market with crafts and produce from 7pm  along with a free glass of wine/soft drink and mince pies.

Tickets can be purchased from http://buytickets.at/therockoflife/113832 and cost:

  • Adult –  £12
  • OAP/Student – £7
  • Under 12s – £3

Tickets can also be purchased on the door at £15 Adult | £8 OAP/Student | £4 Under 12s

Come along for a great evening!

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