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‘This ain’t changed a bit’: Lily, 101, chauffeured to her childhood haunts

PUBLISHED: 10:16 22 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:28 22 August 2020

101-year-old Lily Barnes, who now lives at Heron Lodge Nursing Home in Wroxham, setting off on a journey around Norfolk to visit important places from her life. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

101-year-old Lily Barnes, who now lives at Heron Lodge Nursing Home in Wroxham, setting off on a journey around Norfolk to visit important places from her life. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

Shaheen Jahir

A chauffeur-driven trip around Norfolk brought a lifetime of memories flooding back for 101-year-old Lily Barnes.

101-year-old Lily Barnes visiting St Mary the Virgin Church, where she was married in 1935. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare101-year-old Lily Barnes visiting St Mary the Virgin Church, where she was married in 1935. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

Mrs Barnes had long wanted to visit her childhood home and other important places from her life, but staff at Heron Lodge Nursing Home in Wroxham - where she now lives - had to wait until coronavirus restrictions were lifted to make it happen.

The tour was shared with the home’s wellbeing co-ordinator Karen Spinks, senior support worker Lorraine Lawrence and Kingsley Healthcare chauffeur Simon Boxby.

Their first stop was Blofield to see the house Mrs Barnes called home for most of her life.

She and her late husband William moved to the then newbuild in January 1939 - finally moving on more than 80 years later.

101-year-old Lily Barnes setting off from Heron Lodge Nursing Home in Wroxham on a journey around Norfolk to visit important places from her life, including the house where she spent 80 years of her life. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare101-year-old Lily Barnes setting off from Heron Lodge Nursing Home in Wroxham on a journey around Norfolk to visit important places from her life, including the house where she spent 80 years of her life. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

Mrs Barnes raised her own family in the house and saw the fifth generation of her family come into her life there.

The journey moved on to Mrs Barnes’ childhood home in Hevingham, and St Mary the Virgin Church where she and William married on July 20, 1935.

Mrs Spinks said: “Lily told me, ‘As I walked out here a married girl of 16, I didn’t know what life would bring me, but it’s been a happy life’.”

When she saw the village primary school, she said: “Well, this ain’t changed a bit. Still looks like it did all them years ago.”

101-year-old Lily Barnes, visiting the house wehre she lived for 80 years. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare101-year-old Lily Barnes, visiting the house wehre she lived for 80 years. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare

She told Mrs Spinks a story about a boy in the village she used to date.

Although he was a popular lad, Mrs Barnes dumped him when she realised he was sneakily eating Bluebird toffees out of his pocket without sharing them with her. The last stop was the house at The Turn in Hevingham, where Mrs Barnes lived with her parents.

Mrs Spinks said: “She remembers the day they moved in and the names of all of the people in the surrounding houses. She was a little overwhelmed at the number of houses there now compared with all those years ago.”

She said Lily had enjoyed a very emotional day, remembering and reminiscing about things, people and places she never thought she would see again.

Mrs Spinks said: “She often told me during chats at the home she was heartbroken she would never get to see it all again but was so very thankful to all who helped arrange a perfect day for her to go and relive her wonderful memories of a happy long life.”

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