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All Posts in Category: Residents

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.’

 

India

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.”

Singapore

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…’

Egypt

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.

 

Family

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

“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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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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Tambourines, maracas and garlands

Bridey - 18 September 2017 (2)Don and Jean 3 - 18 September (2)Maggie - 18 September (2)

Frankie Johns came to Bridgemead yesterday for the afternoon with his tambourines, maracas, hats and garlands for an afternoon of country and western, and fun. He said ” Everyone joined in the singing and we all enjoyed it. I’d not been to Bridgemead before but everyone was very welcoming.”

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Bridgemead feasts

The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Rob Appleyard, said on a recent visit:” Bridgemead is brilliant. There is a sense of grace and love here, and the food is amazing!” Elliot Gower is part of the great team in the kitchens at Bridgemead producing the amazing food. He has worked here for 12 years, with the chefs Mark and Maria.

He says: “They are a good bunch of people and we have a laugh. Everyone has five minutes to spare chatting to the residents. It can be stressful but everyone goes out of their way to help each other. Everything is cooked from scratch and it is all fresh, except for the cod in batter.”

“The most popular dish is a roast dinner – pork, lamb, chicken or beef. On their birthdays residents choose their favourite menus – and it is always a roast dinner or salmon.”

“Everyone loves the puddings: Eton mess, cherry pie, fresh fruit cocktail, chocolate sponge, banana custard and baked apple are favourites – there’s hardly ever anything left.”

“We cater for everyone, whether it’s yeast free, dairy free or fat free; or we puree some foods for those who can’t swallow easily.”

“All in all, it’s a homely, friendly environment.”

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It’s Samba time!

Lauren from Golden Toes got everybody moving with a tropical themed seated dance class this week. Everyone had a go at the samba, flamenco and hula dance and Bridgemead was dancing! Lauren said “Everyone performed beautifully and it was a great pleasure to dance with and for everyone.”

Maggie Drew Golden Toes Tropical Summer seated dance class 01.08.17.3Brian Paginton and Maggie Drew Golden Toes Tropical Summer seated dance class 07.08.17Marion and Sylvia Golden Toes Tropical Summer Dance Class__ 07.08.174

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Blooming in the Botanical Gardens

Five Bridgemead residents, along with Heather, Denise and Sonia took advantage of the sunshine by taking a stroll around Bath Botanical Gardens this week,and admired the flower borders in full bloom.

Residents enjoyed watching families and children picnicking and playing in the sunshine. Dog walkers stopped to chat and their dogs were petted by all. It was the perfect day for ice-cream at the Royal Pavilion Café in Royal Victoria Park afterwards with a lovely view of the bowling green and tennis courts.

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Day out at Dyrham Park

On 31st May four of our residents Danny York, James Elliott, Edward Horesh and Jean Kemmery went out on a trip to see the beautiful ancient deer park, seventeenth century house and garden at Dyrham Park. They were accompanied by four staff  – Denise Harris (Senior Carer), Veronica Ward (Carer), Kristyna Jancikova (Registered Nurse), and Michelle Jenner (Activities Co-ordinator).

 

Three residents chose to go around the house – Edward (with Kristyna), Danny (with Denise) and James (with Veronica). All the National Trust staff were very helpful and co-operative. All the residents visited the gardens and were very impressed.  Veronica took James around the gardens and the pond.  Denise took Danny around the gardens and the pond. Some areas are difficult for wheelchairs, such as the cobbled courtyard and some gravel in the gardens and steep slopes.  These difficulties were negotiated successfully by the well trained staff, who all have moving and handling training.

Tea at Dyrham Park café was a great success although Danny said that the scones were not as good as the ones his wife used to make!  Edward enjoyed his favourite Marshfield ice-cream and James liked the ice-cream too. Michelle says: “I love taking residents out on outings because they enjoy it so much.  It’s wonderful to see them in a different environment, they are more relaxed, sociable and jolly.”

 

Previous successful trips have included outings to  National Trust ‘Courts Gardens’, Prior Park Garden Centre, Chew Valley Lake, and ‘Salt & Malt’ café.

A visit to Bath City Farm for ‘Feathered Friends’ a sociable chicken keeping/cuddling project, for the over 60s and those living with dementia, and their carers is planned next.

 

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