Astell House welcomes ITV West Country

Astell House residents and staff were delighted to welcome ITV West Country team to the home on Friday to capture memories of the second world war in the run up to Remembrance Day.

ITV reporter Verity Wishart and camera and sound recordist Clare Green were a fantastic team taking time and care to make sure everyone felt comfortable during the filming.  They spoke with six residents accompanied by home manager Karen Barry and two other staff, with refreshments and treats from chef Mauro and his team. They spoke to:

Derek Tapson who was a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF serving on D-Day and was awarded the Legion D’Honneur for his contribution.

Gwyneth Evans who was sent from Wales to London to work in the War Office where she met her future husband on her first day.

Menna Jones who has happy memories of the American soldiers bringing sweets and other treats while visiting her father’s garage for fuel.

Betty Harris whose brother served in the RAF and has memories of going down into a concrete shelter during air raids.

Joan Gott, who spoke of  being evacuated, living with rationing, air raid practices at school and her father serving in the Home Guard.

George Cullis who hoped to serve in the Navy but was called up to work in the mines in Coleford, one of the ‘Bevan Boys’ whose contribution has only been relatively recently properly acknowledged.

Thank you to all the residents for sharing their stories, it was a privilege to hear their experiences and memories.  It brought to life events which we can easily think of as ‘history’ and gave a special significance to all the Remembrance Day commemorations this year.  To watch the film and read their story click below;

https://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2023-11-11/care-home-residents-share-war-memories-ahead-of-remembrance-day