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Memories for Mo as Care Home Celebrates 20 Years On Site of Family House

An 84-year-old Hampshire woman whose care home occupies the exact spot where her family’s house used to be joined fellow residents and guests for a 20th anniversary celebration.

Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge in Lymington opened in 2003 following the demolition of two houses originally on the Milford Road site.

One of them, number 20, was the four-bedroom family home, from 1978 to 2001, of Maureen Marks’ in-laws Adrienne and Ted and niece Sandra.

Maureen, known as Mo, and her late husband Bill were regular visitors, enjoying family gatherings including barbecues in the back garden.

Maureen also lived there for several weeks in 1994 when she was between house moves herself.

Number 20 and the next-door property were sold in 2001, after which Colten Developments demolished the buildings to pave the way for arts and crafts-themed Belmore Lodge.

Twenty years on from its official opening, Maureen, Adrienne and Sandra joined Belmore Lodge residents and well-wishers for an anniversary celebration.

The centrepiece was the opening of a week-long exhibition in the home’s Botanical Lounge, with photos, news cuttings and other memorabilia charting two decades of community care and local Lymington history.

Maureen, whose family members ran the Lymington bakers’ business Marks Bakery from 1972 to 1996, moved to Belmore Lodge eleven years ago.

“This is a really nice, homely place to live in,” she said. “I can’t believe it’s been so long. I feel like I’m part of the furniture now.”

The exhibition was launched by former Lymington Mayor Jane Clarke who, in her Mayoral capacity, officially opened Belmore Lodge in 2003.

“I remember thinking it was a lovely home then,” said Jane. “I recall I had just opened some public toilets in Lymington earlier in the day and thinking this was rather more upmarket!”

Also attending the launch was Ian Hudson, Colten Care Executive Director, who said: “Colten Developments originally had planning permission for a block of flats but we were told that local doctors wanted more nursing homes in the Lymington area. That was the thinking behind Belmore Lodge being developed, owned and run by Colten Care, offering 55 bedrooms. It was the 13th home we opened.”

The exhibition launch party coincided with Ian’s 75th birthday so Home Manager Janie Wilkins took the opportunity to arrange a cake and presentation for him.

A professional accountant, Ian said: “I joined Colten Care aged 40 and so have spent 35 years at the company. I love working for Colten Care. It’s happy days because it doesn’t feel like work.”

 

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