Real Lives

Lady Davenham Debuts At Malvern Water and Well Dressing Festival

At Friends of the Elderly’s Malvern-based Davenham, Perrins House and Bradbury Court, the residential, nursing and dementia care homes which are collectively known as Friends of the Elderly Malvern, the care teams’ green fingers have been getting creative for The Malvern Waters and Well Dressing Festival.

From 4th to 12th May, Friends of the Elderly Malvern will be participating in The 2024 Malvern Waters and Well Dressing Festival; opening its historic, iron gates and welcoming visitors to see the care homes’ beautiful grounds and stunningly decorated famous Well. The Well – which is located at the front of Davenham Residential Care Home – is immediately visible as visitors pass through the early 20th Century Art Nouveau style gates and walk past The Gate House – complete with its roof top carved dragon – towards the main building.

Visitors will also be able to see the English Heritage Blue Plaque on Davenham’s gate dedicated to Charles Dyson Perrins which celebrates the link between this historical, notable figure of the past and the building where he lived.

This is the fourth time Friends of the Elderly Malvern has entered the Festival and, in the past, the decorated Well has won one Silver and two Bronze Awards. “This year, I’m so proud to say that we were awarded another Silver,” said Jo Bennett, the General Manager of the three care homes. “The team worked so hard on the decorations. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Trees’, so we have ran with this idea and made a beautiful lady figure out of a range trees, branches and leaves which represent the Perrins Family Tree. Topping of our design is our centrepiece lady who has affectionately been named ‘Lady Davenham’,” continued Jo.

“The concept for creating Lady Davenham came from Julie Hill, one of our Domestic Services Team, during a team brainstorming session we had for the well dressing. Our Activity Coordinators – Tina Ellenton, Selena Whittaker and Laura Smith – then brought her to life,” said Jo. “In actual fact, preparing our Well for the Festival has been a real Friends of the Elderly Malvern family affair, with our residents, their relatives, pupils from Somers Park School and our care team getting involved.”

The historic Davenham Well – which is also known as St. John’s Well – has also been decorated handmade bunting made from leaves which pupils from Somers Park School have coloured to make even more attractive. “Our Well is quite remarkable,” continued Jo. “It is an ornamental bronze well head, with a spout and basin, it is something to be seen and the decorations really set it off.”

“In addition to taking part in the Well Dressing Festival, we thought it would be a lovely idea to run a Well Leaf Colouring Competition for our residents to judge. The residents are really looking forward to it and will present the winning pupils with prizes,” added Tina Ellenton, the Activities Coordinator at Davenham.

Friends of the Elderly Malvern also has two hidden secrets – a sunken water garden and grotto which are also located on the grounds. “Evidently, both the sunken water garden and grotto date back to the first decade of the 20th Century when Charles Dyson Perrins lived here and he engaged Gardener, James Pulham, to landscape the grounds,” added Jo.

The Well Dressing Festival runs from 4th to 12th May and a variety of tasty refreshments will also be available to any visitors who wish to explore the grounds.

“Everyone at Friends of the Elderly Malvern is looking forward to taking part in this year’s Festival and we are very excited to welcome visitors – both old and new – to see just how beautiful our grounds, Well and historic buildings are,” Jo concluded.





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