Reminiscing with Rewind

15 March 2016

Over the last month, we've run drop-in sessions at Chipstead Lake as part of the Rewind project to explore old photos and documents at the service and to hear people’s memories.

Christine, Joan and Daphne looking at photosWe’ve heard about the many holidays that used to take place to Eastbourne and the Netherlands, as well as the trips in more recent years to Bruges and Ghent.

Christine holiday photoOne resident, Christine, remembers the trips to the Netherlands in the 1980s:

‘The trip from Harwich to Holland was much better than the one from Dover.

‘It is a longer journey so the boat was much nicer.’

Joan, a former staff member who went on many of these trips recalls:

‘[It was] exciting for staff and residents. It was something different.

‘On holiday the staff-resident relationship was different. We talked about different things.’

Fundraising challenges

Fundraising ledger showing how much was raised at an event at Chipstead Lake in the 1970sFundraising has always been a large part of life at a Leonard Cheshire home. Many photos and documents about this have been found at Chipstead Lake — from the original appeal for building the home (first proposed in 1969) to the numerous activities organised by residents, staff and volunteers during the life of the service since it opened in 1977.

One notable fundraising event which used to take place each year was the VSU sponsored walk in Knole Park, which Daphne, a long standing volunteer was heavily involved in and some residents took part in along with children from local schools. Daphne’s biggest challenge was getting the sponsorship money out of the 1,000 children afterwards.

And Barry, a resident at Chipstead Lake, remembers:

‘A friend pushed me round the course, it rained the whole way. Then we went to the pub!’

Eileen, and original resident at Chipstead Lake

While there have always been challenges in fundraising, as Shirley Brigham — a volunteer and former chairman at Chipstead Lake — recalls there were, ‘So many happy memories. We had such fun.’

Memories of past friends

The people that have come and gone over the years are also readily remembered.

  • John Affleck, who was involved in many aspects of the home — especially in switching off the lights — and was at various times chairman, treasurer and member of multiple committees.
  • The ‘bed ladies’ who volunteered to change the beds every Monday.
  • Maureen Callis, whose efforts in fundraising for the home have never been forgotten.
  • And the many residents, staff and volunteers who have come and gone over the years.

Future workshops

As part of our Rewind project, supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, we will be running more workshops at several services in the south east over the next 18 months, as well as digitising material from our archive for a new heritage website to go live later this year.

We'll keep you updated through further news stories on here, and on Twitter @LCDarchive or email us for more information.

Rewind: 7 decades of stories from Leonard Cheshire DisabilityThe National Lottery Heritage Fund

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