Tears and Smiles at the Party

It was so lovely to see five Atfield House residents at our Christmas party on Sunday. Volunteers helped get them to and from the hall, which was as well to prevent slips, trips and falls on the uneven pavement and help manoeuvre wheelchairs up and down curbs.

The cakes were extremely popular. Josie admitted they had all eaten too much and that she couldn’t manage supper later. (In fact, she was seen snuffling cake into a doggy bag she enjoyed it that much!) She loves a chat. Both her father and husband were in the RAF. They ended up living in Sandra Close. She has 2 sons, one lives locally and the other in Cheltenham. She pioneered a ‘cash cafeteria’ at the school where she worked as a Meals’ Supervisor.

Pat had been married on her 21st birthday at St. John’s and they were married for 60 years. She told me ‘he was the best’. Arthur told me he led her husband’s funeral & that she lost her only son when he was in his forties. Jenny knew Pat from when she lived in the Woodlands.

There was a little play with audience participation. As the children sang, one of the Atfield residents wept. Their singing was the highlight for Josie. Atfield’s table won a box of biscuits in the raffle. She also said how friendly everyone was and that it was as though everyone had always known each other. It was wonderful to see the smiles on their faces and fantastic to see a community of young and old come together to celebrate Christmas.

The walk back was rather wet but Tom came to the rescue with umbrellas. Josie was escorted back by someone who turned out to be none other than the Vicar’s wife: ‘she’s lovely’. As we left, Josie could be seen still waving goodbye as we turned the corner!

LEILA AVERY