Molly, 92, goes back to her roots for a trip down memory lane

A former deputy head took a trip down memory lane when she went back to the college where she trained more than 60 years ago.

By Janet Hall
Friday, 24 May, 2019, 15:47
Molly Grainger and carer Samantha Holden at Alnwick Castle.

Molly Grainger, 92, trained as a teacher at the Alnwick College of Education in the 1950s.

The college started life as a teacher training college within Alnwick Castle in 1945.

Molly went back to the castle for VIP guided tour, followed by an afternoon tea.

Molly, who hails from Great Ayton in North Yorkshire, trained at Alnwick. After many years successfully teaching, she became deputy head teacher at Avenue School in Acklam, Middlesbrough, before retiring. Afterwards, she enjoyed her free time working as an artist, painting watercolours of the local landscapes.

Molly now lives at Reuben Manor Residential and Dementia Care Home, near Yarm.

Her time spent at Alnwick Castle has been a frequent topic of conversation and her carer Samantha Holden thought it would be a wonderful experience for her if she could visit the castle 70 years on.

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Molly said: “It was amazingly different from when I lived there, and I got to see parts of the castle I would never have been allowed in before. Food was still rationed when I was there, but it certainly wasn’t yesterday!”

One of her abiding memories of 1950s Alnwick Castle is her secret night time trip to the kitchens with her friend Bunty to find more to eat.

Samantha said: “We find that reliving happy memories significantly improves our patients’ wellbeing and helps them achieve a sense of belonging.

“Because Molly talked very fondly of her time at Alnwick Castle and was obviously been very happy there, we thought it would be a lovely idea if she could visit again in 2019.

“I contacted the Castle and it was a lovely surprise to be invited for tea and a private guided tour. The occasion was exceptional and everyone at the castle went above and beyond to make it special.”

David Hawke, head of Alnwick Castle Ventures,said: “Alnwick Castle is a wonderful, atmospheric place and holds many special memories for visitors for all sorts of different reasons. We were delighted to welcome Molly and so pleased to hear she enjoyed such a happy time here.”