Former bar lady welcomed back after 50 years

Residents and staff from Colten Care's Wellington Grange care home during their visit to Chichester Rugby Club.
Residents and staff from Colten Care's Wellington Grange care home during their visit to Chichester Rugby Club.
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Chichester Rugby Club has made a pensioner ‘feel at home again’, 50 years after she worked there.

The club welcomed a visit from 91-year-old Josie Allman and let her try on some rugby headgear while she was there.

Josie, who lives at Colten Care’s Wellington Grange care home, was also given a surprise round of applause during the match day lunch visit.

She worked behind the bar at the club in the late 1960s and said it was really interesting going back after 50 years.

“It’s much bigger than it was before but it has the same atmosphere, light and happy,” she said.

“I remember everyone enjoying themselves just as they do there now. It’s a very sociable place to be.

Former bar lady Josie Allman tries on some rugby headgear

Former bar lady Josie Allman tries on some rugby headgear

“I had a lovely day and really enjoyed it. It’s sad to think my friendship group from 50 years ago are no longer with us but I felt at home again.”

The visit was part of an ongoing series of contacts between the home and club, which are just yards from each other across Wellington Road.

Oaklands Pavilion has had a series of improvements, partly prompted by discussions with the home. These include a lift, handrail and raised wooden platform on the balcony overlooking the pitch, making it easier for wheelchair users to watch the on-field action.

Club president David Kay said: “We were really delighted to welcome Josie back to the club after all of this time.

“Occasions like this, and the partnership that we are developing with Colten Care, go to the centre of why Chichester Rugby Club and the Oaklands Pavilion exist, to be adding value at the centre of the Chichester community.”

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