War Evacuee Shares The Colourful Secret Of Her Long, Full Life

A 92-year-old World War Two evacuee who refuses to let crippling arthritis halt her passion for creativity has enjoyed a hit with her latest project – making colourful bead bowls.

Now Dorothy McDermott has paid tribute to the staff at Cramond Residence, who have helped her create dozens of the bowls, as orders have flooded in from family, friends, residents and staff.

The arts-loving pensioner, who trained as a silversmith, was inspired during lockdown to experiment with colourful Hama Beads, which were originally created for children, but have proved a global hit with many adults as well.

Dorothy says that creative projects have helped her enjoy a happy and fulfilled life and also provided her with a vital distraction during lockdown – and is delighted with the reaction to her latest works.

She added: “People have been putting in requests for specific styles and colours – I’ve made over 20 in just one month. I’m thrilled to bits that people like them.

Widowed Dorothy has had a lifelong passion for art and told how her creative streak even helped sustain her as a child during the darkest days of World War Two.

She said: “Art has always been a passion of mine, I used to get my dad to make a hole in silver sixpences and thruppennies so I could get a wire or thread through to make necklaces.

“When I was evacuated from Edinburgh to the home of my auntie and uncle in Perthshire at the beginning of World War Two, I used to gather hazelnuts to paint and make brooches from, to keep everyone’s spirits high and bring a little bit of happiness during a difficult time.

Dorothy’s passion for the arts sees her taking classes with other residents at Cramond Residence, Edinburgh’s most exclusive care home. This month (SEP) she will lead a course on how to Tie-dye silk scarves, as well as teaching other residents how to get creative with the colourful beads.

Lisa Sohn, Lifestyle Co-ordinator at Cramond Residence said: “The drive and energy that Mrs McDermott has for the creative arts is truly inspiring – proving that age is just a number when it comes to something you are passionate about.

“Dorothy is a very sociable resident, so when her friends caught wind of her new adventure making bead bowls, many were quick to put their order in. Now even the staff are getting in on the action – from storing keys at the front door to a place for jewellery – everyone has been coming up with new uses for them.

“Dorothy is always busy crafting and making things, which she often gives to people as gifts. We look forward to seeing her wonderful creations every time, as no creation is ever the same.”

Dorothy added: “Making things keeps my mind active, I’ve started becoming a bit forgetful so this gives me something to focus on and I really enjoy it. I’d say I spend several hours every week creating new designs whether it is for a new bead bowl or a painting”



















Sign up for all the latest news from The Carer!

Sign up to receive the latest issues, along with highlights of the latest sector news and more from The Carer, delivered directly to your inbox twice a week!