Thomas

Thomas

Attending the Day Care Centre since: it first opened in 2005

1.    Where do you live?

I live with my son and his wife in Woodbridge.

2.    What made you decide you wanted to come to a day care centre?

I’d had a bad accident in my late 40’s while driving a lorry.  I found myself at home, fed up and bored with my son and his wife at work.  I was asked if I would consider a day centre and I thought it was something to do, something fresh and I could meet new people.

3.    Why did you choose the Almshouses?

I went to another day care centre to start with which then closed and we all transferred to the Almshouses.

4.    What did you think when you first saw the Day Care Centre

I thought how nice it was and much warmer and more comfortable than the day centre in the community hall and it had no steps which was a real bonus for me. I really liked it and have stayed here ever since.

5.    How long did you have to wait for a place?

I didn’t have to wait at all.

6.    What do you value and enjoy most about the Almshouses?

I value getting out of the house twice a week to mix with other people. The company at the Day Care Centre keeps me cheerful and interested in life.

Of all the activities on offer, I like cards the most but what I really enjoy is a laugh and a joke with the staff and the other people who come here.

7.    What would you say to someone thinking of coming to the Almshouses?

“Come and enjoy yourself. It’s wonderful, the staff are brilliant!”

8.    Could you tell us about your life story?

I was born in Ipswich, the eldest of six children – four girls and two boys.  There was a girl born before me but she died at six months old. My dad was a mobile newsagent – he bought the round and ran it himself.

When I was three years old, the Second World War broke out and our road in Ipswich was bombed – the Germans were trying to hit Ransomes which at that time was making munitions of course.  We moved to Wherstead Road near the railway bridge, then we moved to Priory Heath and then again to Woodbridge

My first school was Luther Road in Ipswich and when I was eleven I went to the boys’ school in Ipswich, where Tower Ramparts is now.  On leaving school at 14, I helped my father with his business until I was 18. Then I got called up to do National Service in the Army and I was stationed in Libya. While I was out there I trained to be a nurse which I really enjoyed – I felt I had found my calling.  However, on returning to the UK after completing my national service, none of the local hospitals would employ me. Nurses were nearly all women in those days so I had to give up on the idea.

Unable to find a hospital job, I got a job working for Turban Foods in Woodbridge. Turban Foods occupied the site where Budgens is now and traded in nuts, their lorries travelling all over the country making deliveries.  To start with I loaded the lorries but as soon as I passed my HGV test I drove lorries to London, Bath, Bristol and Wales.  I was about 45 at the time of the lorry accident and suddenly my life became characterised by visits to hospital.

I met my wife through my sisters – when we were children, she was a friend of theirs. She was having a tough time at home and my father let her stay with us.  When I got older, I fell in love with her and we married in 1980.  We lived with my parents to start with, then we moved to Seckford Street where the rent was seven shillings a week which was a bit too expensive so we moved into a caravan at Sluice Farm in Martlesham which cost us only three shillings a week and that was ok until it leaked! We moved back to Seckford Street when our son was born in 1982. Sadly, my wife died nine years later – she was only in her 40s.  Then it was just me and my son living on our own.  We were re-housed in a flat and later on a house became available on the estate and we moved into that.  I still live in this same house with my son who is now married.

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