Strawberry picking stimulates old memories


A trip to Halberton Court Farm near Tiverton brought back some happy memories for a pensioner who is living with dementia.


Ian Spreadbury visited the farm, along with fellow residents, as part of an activities programme organised by Camelot House and Lodge in Wellington, Somerset,

“Our aim is to keep people as active as we can and to get them involved in tasks to help stimulate their minds,” said activities co-ordinator Richard Dempslake.

“We knew Ian used to love going strawberry picking when he was younger and hoped it would jog his memory about days gone by. 

“It was wonderful to see him enjoying himself. He immediately took charge, telling me what to pick and which fruits were ripe and which were not.

“It was as though the years had been stripped away and he went back in time to when he used to go strawberry picking with his family.”

Ian’s wife Jenny said the visit had brought back some fond memories. “In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s Pick-Your-Own was a new concept.

“He and our three young children loved being allowed to go and pick strawberries at a farm near our home in Batheaston – sometimes as much as 5lbs of fruit at a time.

“We had to make sure that most of what they picked actually went into the baskets provided rather than into their mouths!

“We could even take a bowl up to the farm near teatime and pick a few for a dessert. As the years passed we maintained that tradition even once the children had all left home. 

“Ian was surprised and very pleased to be offered the chance this year to pick some of his favourite fruit.”


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