BBC Songs of Praise presenter opens specialist dementia home in Bristol


First drinks in the pubA new specialist nursing and dementia care home has opened in Patchway, Bristol to include a “Memory Lane” reminiscence village aimed at the Beatles generation.


BBC Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes officially opened Olive Tree House, the new specialist residential nursing home on Saturday (July 2). The 65-bed centre is alongside Olive Tree Court, which provides 25 private retirement apartments.


The newly built facility has been provided by Grove Care, a family-run care organisation that specialises in dementia and elderly care and which also operates Blossom Fields in Winterbourne, Bristol. Blossom Fields hit national headlines for its 1950s Memory Lane, which

featured mock shops designed to aid psychological well-being in dementia sufferers.


The new centre has a 1960s themed street, which includes a working 1960s hair salon, pub, grocery store and record shop. It also includes a gymnasium, sensory roof garden with views across the city and luxurious lounges and dining room.


The teamPam Rhodes was so impressed with the 1950s Memory Lane when she filmed there for Songs of Praise that she wanted to be involved in opening the new facility, which will provide a stimulating and safe destination for elderly and dementia sufferers and their families.


The 1960s Memory Lane is set in a landscaped garden and includes:


“The Concorde”: The cosy pub celebrates the first flight of Concorde on March 2, 1969 from nearby Filton Airfield. It includes pub fittings from the era plus Concorde memorabilia. Many of the residents of the new home are likely to have worked at Rolls Royce or British

Aerospace and the pub has been designed to prompt memories and chat.


“Revolver Record Shop”: Named after the famous Beatles album the record shop includes posters, music memorabilia and tickets from the 1960s with racks of vinyl LPs that residents can play on a turntable in a listening booth.


“McCarthy’s Store”: With nostalgia on every shelf the 1960s themed grocery store includes some favourite brands from the days when the lads used Brylcream and the girls bought their Jackie magazine. 


Christopher Taylor of Grove Care said: “The Olive Tree centre will enable people to live independently when they can and access all the facilities. For those who are less independent there is the residential home on site, so it means that people do not have to move

from an environment they know and love if they become frail.


“We have developed the idea of the original Memory Lane, with the advantage of being able to incorporate it into the design of the facility and make it more functional. This time it is a 1960s theme, which we believe will resonate with our residents.


“We know from experience that rather than just sit in a lounge most elderly people want to see something and go somewhere to keep their minds active. By creating interesting outdoor areas and Memory Lane as a destination it makes a walk around our grounds



“Our care staff know from experience that elderly people ask if they can go out to the shops, the pub or to the bus. Memory Lane enables them to do that in a safe environment for them.


“We have put a lot of effort into stocking the shops with interesting items but there has also been time and expertise taken on the interior design of the living space with every bedroom having an en-suite shower room and design that helps people physically and



As well as the full nursing care available in Olive Tree House, people can buy their own home in Olive Tree Court and receive extra support including a 24-hour emergency alarm response service and full security CCTV.


The new facility is in Charlton Hayes and is close to Cribbs Causeway for those independent enough to enjoy shopping.



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