18 January 2018
Life at Chamberlain Court Care Home – Pamela Gatehouse
We caught up with resident Pamela Gatehouse, 88, who lives at Chamberlain Court Care Home in Royal Tunbridge Wells to find out what it’s like to live in our new, state-of-the-art facility.
What is your favourite thing about Chamberlain Court Care Home?
The care team are lovely and very caring and they listen to you if you’ve got a problem. They are there if you want or need anything and all of them make such a difference. I can’t speak highly enough of any of them really. I lived at home after my husband died for about a year and I thought ‘I can’t do this any longer,’ it was making me miserable. My family suggested that I looked at these sorts of places. We looked at one or two and this one I chose without even hesitating. Apart from the fact it’s a nice building, it’s the people that are important and they’re lovely.
What activities do you like doing at Chamberlain Court Care Home?
We have regular outings to places like the nearby market or shopping centre which I thoroughly enjoy and we often have an exercise activity where you can go upstairs and join in. I do go up because I think it’s important to socialise with my fellow residents, also everybody is lovely and we’re all in the same boat.
Tell us about your life before you moved into Chamberlain Court Care Home?
I was born in Abbey Wood in South East London, I had a lovely life there. I had wonderful parents who brought us up decently. They didn’t have a lot of money, so it wasn’t an expensive life we had but in those days most people didn’t. My father worked in print and he used to do a lot of night work and would sleep during the day and one of the things that has stayed in my memory from my childhood is my mother always saying “shh! daddy is asleep,” because he had gone to work all night.
When I was older, I went to training-school and became a teacher and worked my way up. I started in a very good school which I think helped me enormously. The headteacher was superb and I learned a lot from her. I left there because I had my children. When I went back to work, I went to a school in Welling in Bexley. I worked part-time there because I had a young family. I decided after my two youngsters had grown up that I would go back and I went for a headship and got the job. I thoroughly enjoyed it but it was hard work. I was a headteacher for about four years before I retired.
What is your earliest memory?
I can remember when my brother had just started school and he was in the nursery class. In those days, they used to have little wooden armchairs that all the little ones sat in so they didn’t fall off. I can remember going to the school where my brother was when I was about four and sitting in one of those armchairs.
What words of wisdom would you offer to others?
I would say life isn’t as long as you think so enjoy every minute of it. That’s what I used to say to my children, enjoy it! Stop quarrelling and enjoy yourself.