Centenarian Spitfire pilot visits beloved planes

Former Spitfire pilot honoured by the Queen has had his wish to be close to a Spitfire once more granted
Wing Commander Michael Jones OBE is a resident at our home.

Michael expressed a desire to be close again to small, old aircraft. So, we arranged a visit to Compton Abbas Airfield, near Shaftesbury.

Our Companionship Team Leader, Bev de Bruyn said: “Michael and three other residents Margaret Webster, Julie Brown and Russell Williams, together with staff members Emma Phillips and Gillian Kellythorn, received a warm welcome at Compton Abbas by the management and staff who were delighted to meet Michael.

“After a light lunch the party watched small aircraft take off and land and a further surprise awaited Michael when his daughter Jennifer arrived, having driven all the way from Torquay especially for the event.
“Michael then visited the aircraft hangar, where he was particularly fascinated with the Tiger Moth and seemed to be very moved when he touched its fuselage.
“He also checked the anti-spin structure on the craft, which wasn’t there when he flew them and asked the knowledgeable technicians several questions about the planes stored there.”

Michael went to school in Oxford and as a boy dreamt of flying.

He was only 17 when World War Two was declared and when he was called up to do his National Service he immediately pursued a career as a pilot.
Michael did his training and advanced training in the United States and went on to complete 13 operations in Spitfires and even more in twin-engine Spitfires.
Michael said: “I wasn’t ever nervous of flying, although I must have been. I think I just knew the job had to be done.”
In one operation he recalls being hit. But luckily his plane suffered only structural damage.

He added: “What made me most nervous was not knowing where the attack came from.”

Bev added: “Michael may now be 100 years old, but he still loves the outdoors and has an uncanny sense of the clouds and how the weather is behaving, which was obviously key as a pilot.

“He told us his visit to Compton Abbas was a truly special day in which a dear wish was fulfilled. All the way home in the minibus there was a buzz of chatter and reminiscing of the war days and the courage of the pilots.”

Resident receives birthday wishes from The White House

Jean received a bouquet and message of congratulations on her 99th birthday from the company where she once made baby clothes for wealthy families
Jean Picton-Turbevill, was overwhelmed to receive flowers and a letter from John Delliere of luxury interiors producer The White House.

Jean worked at The White House in London as a seamstress in the 1950s, where amongst her duties she smocked baby and toddler dresses for titled families.
Sara Foster of our Companionship Team at Abbey View said: “Jean is a regular attendee at Abbey View’s Craft, Knit and Natter sessions and often reminisces about her work at The White House, which at the time was located in Bond Street, London.
“She recalls how as a seamstress she made intricate baby and children’s clothes with smocking details.

“The items were also often sent abroad to America and Jean also remembers working for a formidable lady called Miss Iris.

“So, I looked up the company and was surprised to find them still operating.

“I emailed them to explain that Jean was turning 99 and had fond memories of working there.

“Amazingly I received a response from the managing director John Delliere, who was delighted to receive news of Jean and gave some interesting background.”

[caption id="attachment_4862" align="alignnone" width="974"] Jean Picton-Turbevill,  was overwhelmed to receive flowers and a card from John Delliere, Chairman of luxury interiors producer The White House on her 99th birthday[/caption]

The White House was founded by Mr Delliere’s grandfather in 1906 and while it moved to Surrey and stopped producing clothes many years ago, it now produces luxurious interior accessories for important buildings and the yachts and planes of Royal families in the Middle East.
Sara continued: “Mr Delliere was pleased to hear Jean has fond memories of working there and went on to say that while her boss, his father Robert, passed away eight years ago, his mother, who was known to Jean, is 104 years old!
“We were obviously keen to make Jean’s birthday truly special, with an afternoon tea and we were thrilled to see her face when she received such kind acknowledgement from her ‘old employer.’”

Jean said: “I was so surprised to hear from The White House. It was long ago but I still have happy memories of my time there. The flowers and news that it is still thriving made my 99th birthday very special.”

BSO musicians share their love of music with residents

Residents from three Dorset care homes enjoyed their own intimate performance by musicians from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO)
French horn and piano player Kevin Pritchard and violinist Jenni Curiel visited residents as part of the care group’s celebrations for World Music Day 2022.

The performance had been due to take place alongside a picnic at Poole Park. But after rain was forecast, our residents and residents Fernhill in Ferndown joined with residents at Bourne View, in Poole.

The musicians led the audience through a stunning one-hour set which included popular pieces by Schubert and Tchaikovsky, as well as hit songs from the 1960s and a medley of Cole Porter classics.
Kevin said: “We’ve played at many Colten Care homes and always receive a wonderful welcome.
“Bourne View is an exceptionally beautiful home and performing a summer concert for so many residents together, on the picturesque roof garden level was perfect.”
Jenni agreed: “Everyone was swaying, tapping their toes or clapping and afterwards Kevin and I were lucky to be introduced to some very talented Colten residents, including Doris, a former opera singer and Frank and Myrtle, who are both talented pianists.
“We chatted about their past performances and their love of playing, as well as their favourite composers. It was fascinating to hear them speak and to hear Doris’s beautiful voice.”

Former opera singer and now Fernhill resident Doris ‘Dorrie’ Smith, said: “I really enjoyed joining in. I am 92 now but when I hear the music, I still can’t help but sing. It was fabulous.”

Myrtle Smith, a resident of Bourne View and talented pianist, was an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in her younger years and is currently rehearsing for a Colten Care concert this summer.

[caption id="attachment_4854" align="alignnone" width="768"] Kevin Pritchard and Jenni Curiel performed for residents for World Music Day[/caption]

She said: “I cannot tell you how happy listening to the musicians made me feel. Music is still a huge part of my life even though I am 94. I loved their choice of pieces and would only ask for more Beethoven please! He is my favourite composer.”

Frank Campbell has been playing piano since he was 10 years old and has a piano in his room at Fernhill, which he still plays regularly.

He said: “I very much enjoyed the concert and identifying the music they played.”

Our resident John Taylor added: “What a wonderful afternoon. Perfect!”

World Music Day is celebrated annually and encourages people to share the free gift of music. The event originated in France as Fete de la Musique in 1982 and is now marked across the globe.
Fiona Pritchard, Colten Care’s Music and Arts Partner said: “Music is a huge part of life at all our homes and it is always wonderful to welcome BSO musicians and to see the joy and reminiscence their playing  evokes in our residents.
“Today, as always, people were keen to talk about their favourite pieces, their own musical memories and of course to ask the musicians when they will be performing for us again!”

The BSO performs its summer concerts with the generous support of Tapper Funeral Service.

Residents enjoy cracking Easter fun

Sunny Easter fun featured garden egg hunts, arts and crafts, visits by the Easter Bunny and collecting and donating chocolate treats for charity
Residents gathered, sorted and donated dozens of chocolate Easter eggs for distribution to families supported by Sherborne Food Bank.

Our resident Julie Brown did especially well, sourcing lots of eggs from family and friends to support the initiative. She said: “I wanted to do something to help such a wonderful, highly regarded charity and community cause.”

Our Companionship Team Leader Bev de Bruyn said: “Sherborne Food Bank is our chosen charity this year and we were only too happy to share chocolate Easter eggs with two trustees who stopped outside our home to pick up our donation.

“This is exactly the sort of luxury item which many families on lower incomes struggle to provide.

“Julie was particularly keen to help but all our residents know there is a world out there with many people in need.”

[caption id="attachment_4882" align="alignnone" width="768"] Easter bunny visit Kia Redshaw and Beryl Wallis[/caption]

And in the run-up to Easter, children at schools close to all our homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex took part in an art project organised by the Customer Service teams in each area.

Pupils were provided with an Easter-themed picture to colour in, with residents judging the entries and picking their favourites to receive prizes and certificates.

The homes will be using the pictures to create bunting and other decorations throughout spring.

Elaine Farrer, Colten Care’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The project was great fun and a brilliant example of community engagement and reaching across the generations.”

Hosting our own Scouting ‘jamboree’

We invited residents to rekindle practical skills learned decades ago when they were Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides
Here at Abbey View we laid on a fun-filled ‘jamboree’ of knot-tying, semaphore and basic first aid, awarding badges to successful participants.

We were helped by input from the 1st Yetminster Scout Group who even made an imitation campfire for the occasion.

Sara Foster of our Companionship Team said: “Many of our residents are former Cubs, Scouts, Brownies or Guides and we thought it would be great fun to relive their days wearing a woggle.
“We sourced Scouting and Guiding memorabilia and historical photos to decorate the lounge and invited residents to try their hand at some of the activities and skills they would have practised as children such as tying knots and using semaphore to relay messages.
“We thank all our friends at 1st Yetminster for making the badges which residents were proud to ‘earn’ and wear on special sashes just like a traditional uniform.

“The campfire was a lovely focal point for us to gather round and sing some songs.

Yvonne Willway wears a scout scarf and woggle“It was all about helping residents to reminisce about their time in the Cubs, Brownies, Scouts and Guides in their younger years.”
Julie Brown was one of the residents who revived semaphore skills. She said: “It was a fantastic event. Everyone enjoyed the scouting memorabilia and the activities. It was a very happy afternoon full of smiles and laughter that brought back lots of treasured memories.”
Our Home Manager Elena Barna said: “It was brilliant to engage with a local Scout and Guide group on our very own in-house jamboree.

“As 1st Yetminster was founded way back in the 1930s, some of our residents who come from the local area have had long-standing connections with the group.

“Enabling residents to maintain and strengthen contact with the community, especially across the generations, is part and parcel of what we do here at Abbey View.”

Throughout the world, Scouts and Guides have traditionally attended large rallies or gatherings known as jamborees every four years.

The name dates from 1920 when the first such event was hosted in the UK. The 25th World Jamboree is due to be held in Korea in 2023.