Love was most definitely in the air on Valentine’s Day when our residents celebrated 372 years of love!
Husbands and wives were invited to Barrowhill Hall on February 14th 2020 to celebrate their relationships. A special lunch included lamb stroganoff, chocolate cupcakes and heart-shaped truffles.
A special wedding anniversary
Among them were Ian and Dulcie Thornewill. They were also celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary. The couple met when they were just teenagers at a church youth club in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
“We decided to get married on Valentine’s Day because it just seemed a suitable date,” remembered Dulcie.
“Ian enjoyed looking at our wedding photos. He could remember his mum and dad and his brother.
“This is our first anniversary since he moved into Barrowhill Hall. Being apart is difficult, but the staff made it very special.”
Barrowhill Hall is a 74-bedroomed specialist dementia care and nursing home on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border.
It consists of two households. Churnet Lodge offers care for those those with early on-set dementia and memory loss.
Barrowhill Hall offers both residential and specialist nursing dementia care.
A celebration of love
Becky Buckley is the home’s activities manager.
“The event was an opportunity to celebrate love,” she said, “and for the couples to reminisce about what brought them together.
“We get to know partners really well when people move in with us. There were so many wedding photos to look at! They brought back happy and comforting memories. There were smiles, laughter and lots of hand-holding which was lovely to see.”
Love at first sight
Sean and Joan Devlin were one of the eight couples treated to lunch. Now in their early 80s, Joan didn’t meet Sean until she was 43.
“We got together because of my mum,” Joan remembered. “She’d been out for a walk and stopped for a rest opposite Sean’s house. She was 82 and he offered to give her a lift home. He was always helping people.
“When he dropped her off, he saw my photo hanging on the wall and that was it – it was love at first sight!”
The couple got married and bought a farm in Tutbury. They turned it into Little Park Holiday Homes which they ran successfully for 20 years. They then travelled the world in their retirement.
“He won me over with his twinkly eyes!” said Joan. “He has vascular dementia and Parkinson’s disease but he still has a sparkle. He’s always been a one off!
“The lunch was spectacular! A five-star hotel couldn’t have done better. They are so good here, so kind; I can’t fault them.”