Castle Gardens 50th Anniversary

The invitation said: “Come and join us to celebrate 50 years and the opening of the Queen Eleanor Lounge.”

So I did. And it was a very convivial affair, attended by plenty of residents and several members of Kettering Borough’s Silver Service, the department that is charged with providing Sheltered Housing designed to meet the needs of those over 55.

At 2pm, His Worship the Mayor, arrived and was introduced to the gathering.  In his brief speech (there was food and drink to be had!), Cllr Scott Edwards spoke of his pleasure that such a remarkable property was provided for those who wished to live independently, but at the same time, in a safe, secure and high quality environment, in the centre of Geddington. The high quality was on show as the lounge had been newly decorated with new lighting, new floor and even a new clock.

Cllr Edwards performed the unveiling ceremony – a purple curtain was whipped off to show the new name.

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After that the refreshments were available to all, who were keen to help themselves. However, Community Safety Officer John Kinloch, did sterling work with a tea tray and no-one had to wait for a second cup either!

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Cllr Edwards was welcomed by each resident as he sat and chatted with anyone who had a spare seat next to them.  Then it was time to cut the ceremonial cake. This was dutifully done by Cllr Edwards and Mrs Jean Johnson, a senior resident who has lived at Castle Gardens for many years.

A brief history.

The bungalows in Hall Close had been completed in 1961 and had proved very popular.  As the Council had wanted to build more homes for the elderly, it started to think about other possible sites in the village. In 1964 the Council agreed to buy the three cottages in Wood Street from the County Council, the tenants were re-housed and the properties were demolished. Work on the new building began in 1966 and was opened by the Duchess of Buccleuch in October 1967.

 

The building was later refurbished in 1998, by reducing the number of flats and using the extra space to install a bathroom in each flat. A lift was also installed, both improvements greatly enhancing the living conditions.

Which brings us to 2018 and Castle Gardens became part of the Borough Council’s Sparkle Programme where the Council, in consultation with residents, redecorated the communal areas, installing a new carpet, new flooring in the lounge, patio doors and a new patio. The residents decided to celebrate their new lounge by giving it a new name – the Queen Eleanor Lounge.

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