MHA Stones Place care home resident, Kathleen Brown, has made a special birthday trip back to Lincolnshire country home, South Ormsby Hall, nearly 80 years after she worked there as a housemaid.
On the afternoon of Wednesday 29 May – the day after her 104th birthday – Kathleen once again walked through the doors of South Ormsby Hall - a place where she made so many precious memories, including donkey rides with her friends around the grounds, meeting her husband and holding their wedding reception.
Kathleen worked at South Ormsby Hall from the age of 17 until the age of 27, under Squire Godfrey Massingberd-Mundy and his wife, Margaret. During a staff Christmas party, Kathleen's eyes met those of Bert Brown, who was working as a chauffeur and gardener for the Rector, Reverend Charles Gordon Ward. A few years later, the two were happily married.
Margert Massingberd-Mundy, who always showed great kindness to her housemaids, paid for the wedding, drove Kathleen to the local church, and drove her and Bert back for their wedding reception in the ballroom at the hall. Kathleen remembers that her wedding day was the only time during her 10 years working there that she got to walk down the front steps to the hall – except when she was scrubbing them!
After the passing of Adrian, Margaret and Squire Godfrey’s son, the hall was sold to new owners and Kathleen lost touch with the place. Since then, it has been made into a private home, which is what made this personal invitation all the more special.
Kathleen’s son, David Brown says: “Many of mum’s happiest memories are of the time she was in service at South Ormsby Hall. To this day, she speaks very fondly of the Massingberd-Mundy’s.
“She has so many anecdotes she happily recounts of her life during those 10 years at the hall – which sounds to me like a real-life Downton Abbey! I am so grateful to the new owners, Jon and Jan Thornes, as well as staff at MHA Stones Place, for making this possible.”
Beverley Murray, deputy manager at MHA Stones Places, adds: “We know South Ormsby Hall holds a special place in Kathleen’s heart, so we were delighted to help her ‘Seize the Day’ by taking a trip down memory lane and paying the house another visit.”