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20th Oct, 2021

Former teacher at Malvern's Abbey School celebrates her 95th birthday with strawberries and cream

Tristan Harris 19th Jun, 2021 Updated: 19th Jun, 2021

SPRITELY Muriel Castledine celebrated her 95th birthday with strawberries and cream at Malvern’s Davenham Care Home.

Muriel also had a face-to-face visit from her niece and nephew, along with gifts and cards from family, friends and the care home team.

The day ended with strawberries and cream – Muriel’s favourite treat.

During her working life, Muriel was a maths teacher at the town’s Abbey School for 12 years and also taught at the Royal Navy School for two years and Headington School in Oxford for 17 years.

She loved her teaching career and often tells her stories from that time with passion to her friends and the care home team.

Muriel was born in Derbyshire but moved to Herefordshire at a very young age where she had many happy memories.

She has also lived in Malvern for many years and moved into Davenham in Decemer 2016.

Muriel also has a love of cats.

She said: “I think my affection for cats stems from my Father, who also loved our furry friends.

“I have had many cats for pets over the years, but one in particular springs to mind – my great friend Ginger.”

A friend told her about the friendly ginger and white stray cat – hence his name – who was roaming around where she lived.

Seeing she needed some tender loving care, she took good care of him and gave him the home and love he deserved.

“It wasn’t long before Ginger was living with me. He was such a loving and loyal friend and companion to me.”

Now living at Davenham residential home, one of Friends of the Elderly Malvern’s three Malvern care homes, Muriel has a new feline friend, Twinkle.

Originally adopted by the Bradbury Court dementia home’s manager, which is located on the same campus.

Twinkle, a long-haired Tabby Cat, enjoys spending her time visiting the care home residents, especially Muriel.

Davenham’s care team knows of Muriel’s love of cats and makes sure Twinkle visits as much as possible, which both Muriel and Twinkle enjoy.

Karen Smith, the care home’s Activities Co-ordinator said: “I’ve known Muriel for quite a time – before she was a resident at Davenham.

“I used to work in a boarding cattery where Muriel would bring her own cats when she was away on holiday.

“When Muriel moved into Davenham, she recognised me straight away and of course we reminisced.”

She added Twinkle puts the biggest smile on Muriel’s face.

“I can’t fully put into words the joy a visit from Twinkle brings to Muriel and they both really enjoyed seeing each other on Muriel’s special day.”

Talking about her 95th Birthday Muriel added: “At Davenham, whilst I may be here on my own, I’m never lonely.”

And on the secret to a long and happy life, she added: “I think it’s living a simple life and making sure you enjoy what you do – and having cats of course.”

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