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Grantham care home residents forge inseparable bond over wartime memories

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Two care home residents have become inseparable after bonding over their wartime memories.

German born Ute Borkertas and Betty Cobb, who grew up in England, struck up their close friendship after moving to Gregory House Care Home, in Welby Gardens, last summer.

German born Ute, 89 and Betty, 91, who grew up in England met when Ute moved into the care home in September, just two months after Betty. They quickly realised they had a lot in common, including their wartime memories.

Ute and Betty. (50190012)
Ute and Betty. (50190012)

During the war Ute lived in Hamburg and Betty grew up in London. They both remember nights of bombing raids and having to move to temporary shelters.

Ute left school in 1947 and trained as a housekeeper but due to the lack of jobs in Germany came to England to look for work in summer 1950.

Betty meanwhile took up an administration job at the local sawmill after leaving school. Both of them married at 19-years-old and are now widowed. Betty has a daughter who lives near to the care home.

After being evacuated from London to Northampton as a child during the war, Betty moved in with her grandmother in Grantham and has lived close by ever since.

Ute moved to Buckminster, near Grantham, with her husband, where they brought up their four children, including daughter Margaret who visits Gregory House to see her on a regular basis.

Ute and Betty love to sit together at mealtimes and often choose the same meals and both insist on having salt and pepper in the same position on the table.

They also share similar interests and can often be found drawing or watching a musical together.

Betty said: “I’ve made some nice friends here at Gregory House and I enjoy spending time with them. I feel very well looked after.”

Ute added: “I was reluctant at first to move into a care home, but I’ve surprised myself settling in so well. It has been absolutely the right decision for me. From the ladies in the office to the kitchen team, the carers and those in housekeeping, everyone here is wonderful.”

Home administrator, Lisa Lawlor, has enjoyed seeing the pair’s friendship blossom over the months.

She said: “It’s wonderful. They bonded quickly and found that they had lots in common with each other. We find them sitting together including on most days for film nights, our drawing and singing activities or just chatting together and keeping an eye on the comings and goings in the home.”

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