RESIDENTS at Elizabeth Court in Winshill spent yesterday marking an important milestone in the life of the complex, as they raised a glass to toast its 35th birthday.
But as they enjoyed the cake and party atmosphere, few could help but remember how it could have been so different, had the collection of 47 flats not been saved from closure a few years ago.
“It’s wonderful to be celebrating this,” resident Beryl Potts told the Mail. “It was terrible when we thought it might close. We didn’t know where we were going and what was going to happen.”
The complex was saved following a campaign supported by the Mail.
Mrs Potts, 89, has been living at the Brough Road sheltered housing complex for six years, and said she ‘loves’ her life there.
She joined dozens of other residents, as well as current and former staff, to celebrate ahead of the actual anniversary on September 19.
Former warden Beryl Fryer, who worked at the site in 1985, said she was pleased it was still going.
She told the Mail: “I think it’s brilliant here and I always will. It gives a lot of contact for the older people. Anything which helps the elderly people stay independent is a good thing.”
Trudy Brown, who is the longest-standing resident at the site, said she appreciated the opportunity to live in that sort of environment.
The 87-year-old, who has lived there for 27 years, said: “I like it here. I came to see it and thought it was nice, and within six months I was here. I look at life from the funny side, and there’s lots of that here.”
This week’s party also marked another milestone for the residents, as it was their last one in the old lounge. Trent and Dove, which bought the site two years ago when former owner Anchor announced its closure, is renovating and modernising the site.
Scheme manager Caroline Wildes said: “It’s the end of one era and the beginning of another.”
The Mail saves the day for Elizabeth Court
August 2010 – residents left devastated after the closure was announced by the then owners Anchor Trust.
- Told they had between six and 12 months to find alternative accommodation, following a review of its age, location, design, and ability to attract new tenants in the future.
- The Mail calls on the Anchor to put the welfare of its residents first and rethink its decision.
September 2010 – the Mail’s Save Elizabeth Court campaign gains momentum as politicians and community leaders pledge their support.
October 2010 - Mail campaign attracts more than 3,700 signatures to its petition and it features in ITV news
November 2010 – bidders are revealed for the home, including Trent & Dove
February 2011 – victory is declared for Elizabeth Court and the Mail’s campaign as Anchor Trust made a U-turn and agreed to transfer the complex to Trent & Dove
April 2013 – work begins on £3.2 million revamp