“Anything for our Beryl” as Sandford Station resident celebrates 100th birthday
When it came to celebrating her 100th birthday, Beryl Morton knew exactly what she wanted – and colleagues at the St Monica Trust’s Sandford Station retirement village were only too happy to help.
On 30 August, after getting her hair done, Beryl started her special day by sharing pastries with her friends and neighbours in the residents’ lounge, accompanied by a pianist playing a selection of her favourite music.
The celebrations continued with lunch in the Pullman Restaurant with family and friends, where she enjoyed a glass of Cremant de Limoux – a favourite wine which she and her husband used to drink in France – followed by a magnificent birthday cake.
Beryl said: “The staff are wonderful and they look after me very well. I’m just a straight-forward, ordinary lady and I’ve done absolutely nothing at all to live so long.
"My father used to say it was all in the genes. I just know how to run my body and I know what I want, but I do get a bit naughty sometimes.”
A new start
Having a place she can call her ‘home’ has always been important to Beryl and for the last four years, her ‘home’ has been Sandford Station retirement village.
Beryl’s first home was a small cottage without running water or electricity down the lane from her parent’s pub, where she lived after getting married. Her husband, John was on the planning committee for D Day and had to leave Beryl when she was eight months pregnant to serve overseas.
After the war, Beryl moved to London when John returned to his job working for Natwest Bank in the city. A move to Bristol followed when John’s department relocated and Beryl, feeling that city life was no longer for her, set up a home for her family in the countryside around Chew Magna.
Following the sad passing of her husband and son, Beryl made the decision to start looking for a retirement village. She said: “This is how I live my life – I woke up one morning and thought: ‘Right, I’d better start looking.’ My local GP was very good and it was him that brought me to Sandford Station.
“In the summer I can walk all the way around the retirement village or sit out in garden with a good book. People walking past can join you or you can join them – it’s lovely.”
Happy to help
Sandford Station retirement village is operated by Bristol-based charity, the St Monica Trust.
Retirement Community Manager, Sam Pycroft said: “We’ll do anything for our Beryl and when she told us about her birthday plans for her, we were only too happy to help.
“She is a very popular member of the community and it was a real team effort between our Village Engagement Coordinator, Sam Lawn and Head Chef, Jeremy Basset to make all the arrangements for Beryl’s special day.”