Pamela is a born and bred Londoner having lived in Finchley and Hornsey, north London, as a young child. Pamela and her twin brother spent some time in Devon and attended 15 different schools due to the disruption of the war but has spent the rest of her life in London.
As a young woman, Pamela always wanted to be a professional singer although she had to supplement her income with temporary secretarial jobs at lots of different companies. She was thrilled to get a place in the London Philharmonia Chorus which gave her the opportunity to sing all over the world. She was once a backing singer for Pavarotti and has even sung for the Pope.
She discovered UStSC when she was volunteering as a welcomer at Southwark Cathedral and was helping out at the Thomas Cure Service. She was encouraged to apply for an almshouse as her existing accommodation had become very unsuitable with 17 internal stairs which Pamela was struggling to manage.
Pamela was delighted to be offered her one bedroom ground floor almshouse at Hopton Gardens. She is the first single woman to move to Hopton’s as the scheme was previously restricted to men only. Pamela says she adores the garden and would love to learn more about the history of Hopton’s.
I’m very pleased I’m here. My visitors think it’s marvellous
Just four weeks after first opening the St Saviour’s brochure, Tom was sitting in an armchair in his brand new flat:
“I’d been living in a lovely little cottage on a small estate for the previous 11 years, but the place was going steadily downhill and the new tenants weren’t bothered about looking after it. When my neighbour passed on the brochure, I looked at it in the morning, put it on the side, looked at it again in the afternoon, put it on the side, and looked at it again before bed. By the next morning, I’d filled in the form and taken it up to their office!”
Born in Ireland, Tom moved to England at the age of two and spent more than 50 years in Southwark, working initially as a sheet metal worker for the war effort, then training as a car mechanic, then working as a provisions merchant. A widower for the years, Tom has been lucky enough to meet a new friend through St Saviour’s social events. “We’d go to the bingo and just get talking,” Tom explains. “I’m new to this area, whereas her daughter lives here, so I asked if she wouldn’t mind showing me around. Now we’re out every day. Last weekend we went to Borough Market and then on for a meal to Covent Garden. We’ve just bonded really well. It’s a different type of life for me now.”
Tom enjoys being able to offer help and support to St Saviour’s older residents, including holding a party for one chap’s 93rd birthday: “In a mixed community I’d be seen as old, whereas here I’m one of the younger residents.
Says Tom, “I’d seen some other sheltered accommodation and wasn’t impressed. Then I saw this brochure and thought ‘that’s lovely, it’s like a hotel!’”
You can be in London Bridge in 28 minutes.