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Friendship Blossoms at Loxley Park

Whether it’s meeting old friends or making new ones, our homes are full of wonderful stories as friendships blossom. Three residents at Loxley Park have become firm friends, meeting for meals each day, sharing stories and enjoying activities together. They recently chatted with Grapevine’s reporter for their June issue, to let them know a bit more about their lives and what makes Loxley Park so special to them.

At 94, Dorothy Wright is one of Loxley Park’s oldest residents, whilst Mandy Halliday is the youngest, aged 59. But as we know, friendships aren’t restricted by time or age, and the pair have become great friends along with resident Rita Little, 86, who lives next door to Mandy. All three residents regularly go on trips out, enjoying shopping, having lunch at country pubs, visiting garden centres and other local places of interest.

Dorothy, a former nurse, was born in Grenoside and came to live at our home just two months ago.  “I love it here,” she says. “The staff make everyone feel welcome, and I’m delighted to have met Mandy and Rita. Our friendship has flourished, which has made me very happy. I’m sure I’ll have my 100th birthday here!”

Whilst chatting with Dorothy, Mandy and Rita were surprised to learn that Dorothy and her husband had been married in a secret wedding ceremony! She and Bernard, her husband-to-be, did not tell anyone about their marriage on June 29th 1955. Instead “We went to Sheffield registry office at 9 am,” said Dorothy, “and two passers-by agreed to be our witnesses. By 10 am we were on the train to London for a two-week honeymoon.”

But the secrecy almost cost Dorothy her job as a nurse at the Northern General Hospital! “My matron said I was lucky not to be sacked for not asking her permission to marry.”

Mandy was just as fulsome in her praise for Loxley Park, having moved here in July 2018. “It’s nice to have friends to chat with,” she says, “and there are always activities to take part in. I’ve learned how to press flowers, and have begun knitting again”. Born in Hillsborough, Mandy shared with us that she used to work in the cashier’s department at confectionary makers Bassett’s, where she recalls there was always a strong smell of liquorice.

Rita, born in Rotherham, used to be a secretarial worker, also came to Loxley Park in July 2018, though her journey did not take long. She could see the apartments from her house near the River Loxley, and recalls them being built in 2005!

Thank you to all three ladies for sharing their stories and friendship. The full article is available to read in the June 2019 edition of Grapevine.