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Romantic lunch after 71 years of marriage for care home’s ‘resident of the day’

Joan and Charles Williamson met in the 1930s

20 April, 2017 — By Thalia Fairweather

Joan and Charles Williamson enjoy their lunch at Compton Lodge after he was named ‘resident of the day’

AFTER 71 years of marriage, Charles and Joan Williamson are now living apart due to 97-year-old Charles suffering from dementia.

The couple, who first met in Hampstead in the 1930s, had a romantic lunch at Compton Lodge in Swiss Cottage, Mr Williamson’s new home, after he was nominated for “resident of the day” at the Harley Road care home.

Joan, 95, said: “We’ve had a good life though. We love each other and we were very happy together. He was always very thoughtful and put me first. “I miss the chats we used to have at the end of the day when we went to bed and I wish I could bring him home, but I know he’s warm and very well looked after here.” The home runs a scheme where every month residents who are nominated to have a day “as they would like it to be”. Charles and Joan married in 1946 after Charles returned from serving in India during the Second World War.

Their daughter, Heather, was born in 1948. Before Charles moved to Compton Lodge, the couple lived together in Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead. They ate steak pie and ice cream at a flower-topped table overlooking the garden.

Compton Lodge manager Mary Walsh said: “Although Charles’s communication is limited now, he was clearly thrilled to have this special time with Joan.”

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