Reminiscing about the old days is such a joy

MEMORIES Fiona Murray from Southern Electric, front left, and Marilyn Croxford, Sunshine Day Care director, front right, with pensioner Clara Mitchell and her scrapbook. Behind them are Hulbert Junior School pupils Rebecca Morris, Ellie McBride, Amiee Oldland, Chance Wilson and Laura Riou, and staff from Southern Electric, Tanya Succamore and Chiemeke Ikechukwu Isikwei
MEMORIES Fiona Murray from Southern Electric, front left, and Marilyn Croxford, Sunshine Day Care director, front right, with pensioner Clara Mitchell and her scrapbook. Behind them are Hulbert Junior School pupils Rebecca Morris, Ellie McBride, Amiee Oldland, Chance Wilson and Laura Riou, and staff from Southern Electric, Tanya Succamore and Chiemeke Ikechukwu Isikwei
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A TRIP down memory lane has been captured forever by kind volunteers from an energy firm.

Staff at Southern Electric offered to help residents at Sunshine Day Centre, in Waterlooville, with any project they liked.

And together they hit upon the idea of creating scrapbooks documenting their lifetimes of memories.

Staff from the Penner Road site spent five weeks visiting the day centre, at Springwood Community Centre, patiently listening to the pensioners piecing together their own histories.

Starting with their childhood, then continuing through the post-war period right through to the current day, they compiled scrapbooks entitled Time of Your Life.

Maureen Harvey, 82, enjoyed every moment of meeting up with her volunteer, Fiona Murray,

The great-grandmother from Waterlooville said: ‘It was wonderful, Fiona is such a lovely lady.

‘I talked to her about an American soldier I met during the war and we were going to be married but my father said “over my dead body”.’

‘He went to France and I never saw him again so I don’t think he made it back.

‘Fiona wrote all about that. It was a great experience.’

Hayley Lewis, from Southern Electric, co-ordinated the project.

Under the company’s Community at Heart scheme every member of staff is given a day out of the office to volunteer for a local organisation.

She said: ‘I know the people at this community centre so I asked them whether they needed any help with a particular project.

‘As a result, over the past five weeks teams of volunteers have been going over there and sitting down in one-to-one sessions with the pensioners to collate all the detail then they’ve designed and put their scrapbooks together for them.

‘We’ve had around 60 people involved altogether.’

The final group of volunteers arrived at the community centre last week for the completion and unveiling of the scrapbooks.

To celebrate, they invited children from nearby Hulbert Junior School to come in and read the scrapbooks – and learn something about past times.

The visit ended with a sing-song and afternoon tea.

Marilyn Croxford, director of Sunshine Day Care, said the project was a huge success and the pensioners loved sharing their memories which the next generation read for themselves.

Fiona said: ‘I did a little research to find out some details of one of the American soldiers she met during the war, who she subsequently lost touch with. And I’ve found some pictures on the internet of the area where she lived and went to school to see what it looked like then.

‘It’s been an incredible insight into a different era.’