First Jobs & Friends Reminiscence 24/02/20

It all started well. We were very pleased to welcome some new Friendship Group members to this session. We were also sorry that several members were unwell and could not come along.

Chatting about our first jobs brought up some interesting professions, as well as the ones we had highlighted on our interest table.

I don’t think many of us had met a Lard Packer before or that the natural progression was to being a Butter Packer. Fortunately, the group member had moved on to an out-door job later in life, which he enjoyed much more. We also had two ladies who had worked in the posher end of the clothes industry, making garments for royalty!

We identified some jobs that no longer exist. Including Knocker-upper and Tally man. We had some keen financial brains with us. I asked some questions about the pre-decimal currency, and the group passed the test. Incidentally, do you know how many shillings there were in a florin?

The music quiz was slightly less enjoyable than I would have liked, as the music machine did not work!!! Luckily, the wonderful Pearl stepped-in with more of her memorable jokes. Then the performance team – Caroline, Janet and Pearl – took to the floor for an interactive trio of songs. Who knew “Ten green bottles” would take soooo long to sing.

It was all good fun and we anticipate another good session next time, when we will be Going Out.

Thanks to the Stir Cafe for sorting out the hot drinks – nice cups : )







Early life and Schooldays Reminiscence 20/01/20

We arrived to some very early memories – favourite nursery rhymes playing in the background while we settled in for a chat.

Talking about when you were young is a sit-down job. Schools used to be keen on exercise and good deportment – and so are we. Once a year we indulge in a little book balancing.

Everyone had a story about when they were at school. Many remembered something they had learned in school which proved useful in later life: woodwork, dressmaking, art and chemistry were particularly useful for those who worked with those skills and knowledge.

Once again we recognised our best participants in the prize giving ceremony.

We finished with a mixture of singing, dancing and exercise, led by our highly skilled performers.

Next time we shall reminisce about first jobs.







Christmas Reminiscence

Our second Christmas Reminiscence session (you can see the first here).

We had brief discussions on childhood and adult Christmases past – times were tough for most of our group.

Fortunately, we had elves and an angel on hand to spread good cheer.

We also had some mementos of Christmases past.

Our nibbles and crackers were popular.

Father Christmas, and his helper, popped-in with presents for everyone.

Then Janet led a Twelve Days of Christmas sing-a-long. This was followed by hotly contested Sprout and Spoon races.

A very jolly Christmas indeed.






Birthdays and Celebrations Reminiscence

We had a busy afternoon – celebrating.

Several members of the group pointed out that there was little to celebrate when they were very young – there was a war on! However, they managed to tell us about, and enjoy again, some of their happier times.

We played some games they played with children and grandchildren – like pass the parcel

and an energetic ballon game.

At the end we had a go at pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. With thanks to Richard for the donkey.

It was another engaging session that brought out many interesting stories from our group members pasts. Several anecdotes helped members made connections with others in the group.

Next time it will be Christmas in November!







Homes and Street-life Reminiscence

A lovely day for reminiscing about homes and the streets where we lived.

We brought some memorabilia to prompt conversations.

At the start we reminisced about our first homes and our neighbours. How families helped by giving furniture. A couple built their own kitchen. One gentleman lived on a ship, as he joined the merchant navy when he left home. One joined the Amy and lived in Egypt. Another left for the USA aged 17, salvaging furniture for his new home from skips. And there were parties…

We ran a 1977 Queen’s Silver Jubilee street party. There was much flag waving and singing God Save The Queen – from our multi-national group.

Thanks to participants for contributing food, enthusiasm and singing.

A very good afternoon indeed.








Wedding reminiscence

We started by looking at wedding photos that group members had brought in. Then we talked about romantic locations and favourite chat-up lines.

We discussed funny events and disasters at weddings. Everyone joined-in.

The high point was The Wedding followed by the reception. The Best Man’s speech had been specially prepared (with top quality jokes) by Pearl (even though she could not be with us).

Two of our members had been busy making cakes for us – thank you so much!

Inevitably, we finished with a sing-a-long, some dancing and a conga – there was even a small cute dog at the end of the line.

The group came up with some tips for the bride and groom:

We look forward to our next reminiscence session on 30th September.











Holidays Reminiscence

We were very pleased to see so many people come along to our themed event on “Holidays”.

We had some lively discussions on where people had been at various times in their younger days…

Later we chatted about the people that went with them – and our artists drew what they recalled.

After all this work, everyone needed some drinks and nibbles. The picnic was followed by a knobbly-knees/lovely legs competition. Our judges picked two winners – a man and a woman – can you see the winners in the photo?

The men had another completion for Mr Charm & Personality, then there was just enough time for a short sing-a-long and dance.

Everyone had so much energy that they joined-in with a selection of games.

We all enjoyed ourselves and are very grateful to our wonderful volunteers for making it all happen.







Going Out Reminiscence

Another select group came to reminisce about when they went out in their youth.

We soon got into the serious business of getting ready to go out. We prepared by getting spruced-up and mirroring each other’s actions. This was rather fun, if a bit confusing – especially where we had mixed pairs.

We chatted about things we remembered about how things were, what we wore and where we went

Going to dances had been popular with our group – so we had a dance.

The tunes got livelier, until the jive resulted in the need for a tea break and a sit down.

Fortunately, we were all off to the cinema. As the patrons found their seats, the ice cream lady came round.

We then had a short trailer film for tomorrow’s Friendship Group (several people spotted themselves dancing to Jamie’s singing in the film).

When everyone was settled we split into two teams for a movie quiz.

We finished up chatting about film stars and going out.

Lots of fun was had by all.







First jobs and Friends Reminiscence

We had a slightly depleted group at this session, due to a variety of reasons (we are keeping the local hospitals busy).

We still enjoyed reminiscing about jobs. Group members had a wide variety of employment. Who remembers: switchboard operators, typing pools, nurses in starched uniforms, Lyons Corner House nippies, bus conductors, pre-supermarket shops, coalmen, or the man who collected the pennies from public toilets (he was with us today!)? Janet had some historic photos to jog our memories.

We chatted about the people we used to work with: good, bad and those with ties held in place with elastic to avoid the chance of being throttled by disgruntled customers.

Who has been on a works-outing charabanc? We managed a bus trip to the historic Shrewsbury House.

Our guest speaker gave use a brief history of the House and local points of interest – such as the open-air school (painting by our speaker).

There was too much to cram into the two hours, we did what we could, and went home happy. We hope our poorly friends and volunteers are back to rude health soon.


Early Years and Schooldays Reminiscence

Our second reminiscence event.

We started chatting in small groups, but had to break for the deportment session. This seemed to be very popular and showed-off the excellent postures of our group.

Next, we discussed where group members had grow-up. Deptford was the most popular location.

Memories of schooldays quickly snowballed in the next session.

The Tuck shop opened and we had a well deserved tea break

Finally we had the school prize-giving session, led by the rather dapper Head Teacher (me). I must thank our guest speaker, David, for his speech on schooldays – and the road to fame, via sleeping rough!

Next session in February: First Jobs and Friendships