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Memories, music and ration books at 1940s tea party

PUBLISHED: 08:57 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:34 16 April 2018

Wartime themed tea at Blofield to tackle loneliness and isolation within the elderly. Apple Homecare manager, Jo Ardrey with Pamela Holmes.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Wartime themed tea at Blofield to tackle loneliness and isolation within the elderly. Apple Homecare manager, Jo Ardrey with Pamela Holmes. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A 1940s themed tea party designed to help combat loneliness and isolation among elderly people took place in a Norfolk village.

Wartime themed tea at Blofield to tackle loneliness and isolation within the elderly. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYWartime themed tea at Blofield to tackle loneliness and isolation within the elderly. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The session, put on by 
Apple Homecare in Blofield, included a musical quiz and sing-a-long, as well as union jack bunting and historic items, including ration books, to look at.

Organiser and Apple Homecare manager Jo Ardrey said: “One of the people here today had dementia and wasn’t able to talk about her memories, but when the music came on she was clapping her hands and singing along, she really came alive.”

There was a spread of home-made cakes, snacks and wine provided on a union jack tablecloth.

Mrs Ardrey encouraged participants to share and discuss their war-time memories at the event on Thursday.

Wartime themed tea at Blofield to tackle loneliness and isolation within the elderly. Apple Homecare manager, Jo Ardrey with Winifred Sigrist.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYWartime themed tea at Blofield to tackle loneliness and isolation within the elderly. Apple Homecare manager, Jo Ardrey with Winifred Sigrist. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Edna Adams, 89, told a story about an evacuee boy in Kent, where she grew up, who did not know what a chicken was.

Mrs Adams, a Blofield resident, said she felt her family was extremely lucky during the war in that no-one in her family was hurt, despite a few near misses, and her brothers being posted abroad for its duration.

One of her favourite recollections was of soldiers coming to her parents’ house for “a lovely sing-along”.

“Those were good memories,” she said.

But Irma Northmore, 85, said her memories were “completely different”.

Mrs Northmore, who is Italian, remembered suddenly being considered the enemy when the war broke out.

When her father was interned for his nationality, 
she remembered being told: “Shush, there’s a war on 
and we’re on the wrong 
side.”

Speaking about current global affairs, Mrs Northmore said: “Why can’t we all talk together and have a discussion?

“Can’t we do that? We are adults.”

Mrs Ardey has successfully run memory sessions in a previous job, and hopes to continue them at Apple Homecare in the future, with dates booked once a month up to October.

She said: “With lunch clubs and day centres closing down I’m trying to give a little back.

“I think it went well, they seemed to enjoy it and we gave them all little presents at the end.”

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