For the past two years Ken has found happiness in his cosy flat in Sturdy Court, Kirkbymoorside.
The sprightly 89-year-old raves about the lovely people who live and work there and says that moving to the serviced flats brought him out of the depression he felt after his wife died.
Ken doesn’t hold back when talking of his new-ish home and the people who work there. “I love it here,” he says, beaming. “A place like this you get all sorts of people who are all lovely. Joan lives opposite and there’s just the four of us living in this corner. It is smashing. The warden here was great, but she left. Now we have Johnny the new warden and he is lovely. I am really happy here, what else can I say?”
Sitting in his homey, carpeted flat that looks out onto the garden, Ken says his legs don’t work as well as they used to, but he manages to get out and about nevertheless, the twinkle in his eye confirming his words. Pictures of his family members take up every available space in the living room, and look out from photo frames of various shapes and colours, giving Ken a chance to boast about his beautiful daughters and grandchildren. Listen on and he talks with relish about his wife, Jan (Janice), whom he misses dearly.
“My wife and I had a guest house in Scarborough for 25 years but she died in 2004. I still miss her like mad. We just missed our golden wedding anniversary before she died. I am not saying we didn’t disagree but we didn’t have arguments. You can’t tell now, but we were both ginger and people thought we were brother and sister. We had a good life. When my wife died I got really low, I was depressed. My daughters came and they gave me advice – they like to boss me about. I had to snap out of it.
“My youngest daughter said why don’t you come and live with me. They are in Farndale. I love my kids to bits but living with them is a different matter, I’m afraid. It was so remote where she lived. It was isolated and had really poor transport. I didn’t like it.”
Ken and his daughters eventually discovered Sturdy Court and Ken hasn’t looked back. “It is warm and safe and clean. Since I came here I have been a different person. Here I look forward to seeing people and doing things and it is ever so good. If my youngest was here she would say ‘he is a different person’.”
While Ken doesn’t watch much TV he loves listening to country music and seeing his neighbours. He also gets out and about in Kirkbymoorside on his mobility scooter. “The only thing that lets me down are my legs, if I could get a new pair of legs I’d be great.”
Well we can’t promise that but we can promise a safe and comfortable home for as long as possible.