Brendoncare Stildon takes resident on trip down Memory Lane to London

Written by: Alison Reijman Published: June 21, 2023

When Edward “Ted” Potter told staff at Brendoncare Stildon care home in East Grinstead about his biggest wish, they decided to help him make it come true.

Betty with Brendoncare Stildon resident Ted on a recent trip to London.

Ted (87), a resident at Brendoncare Stildon, has been a member of the YMCA Club in London for more than 20 years. So the Stildon team arranged for him to return to visit his old gym where he reunited with his friends who still attend and work there.

He became a club member after he settled in London, his early life being spent travelling the world. His father was in the Army. He and his mother followed him after he was posted to ports around South Africa such as Port Elizabeth. They returned to London when he was about 13 just as the bombs were falling during World War 2.

Ted left school when he was 18 and thought about going into the law.  But instead, he decided he wanted to travel more so started working for oil company Esso. He then went to sea for 10 years before returning to Esso.

While working in London, Ted joined the YMCA in Great Russell Street, just off Tottenham Court Road. He went there almost every day, playing badminton and squash,  making many friends with whom he played.

The organisers decided to make him an honorary member in recognition of his length of membership.

“I always had a good time there, mixing with everyone and being social. It became half the reason I went there, the other half being to exercise,” Ted said.

After he joined, the female equivalent club was located opposite, so dances were arranged where the women could join them. In the end, the clubs amalgamated to become one club. Ted thought this was an excellent idea.

It’s been a really good day. Everyone has had enough time for me to talk to them and I’ve really enjoyed my day.”

Betty Wood, Brendoncare Stildon’s Wellbeing Coordinator, adds: “It was a pleasure to take Ted back to a place which holds so many memories for him. It was a beautiful sunny day and we are so grateful to everyone at the YMCA for making Ted feel so welcome.”