A trip to the fair helps Norfolk man remember

The Dereham care home residents were treated to the fair on May 14 - before it opened to the public

The Dereham care home residents were treated to the fair on May 14 - before it opened to the public - Credit: Sanford House

A trip to the fair can lift anyone’s spirits, but for one care home resident it brought back a rush of memories and a smile to his face.

Carl Gray and other residents were taken to the Gray Brothers Fair when it visited Dereham on May 14, a fair his family have run for six generations. He helped to run the fair with his four brothers after it was passed down by his father. Mr Gray is now in care at Sanford House in Dereham after developing dementia.

He was living with his brother Jonathan Gray for over nine years but recently moved into the home, having stopped working at the fair around eight years ago.

When Mr Gray dropped off his brother, he invited some of the staff and residents to come along to the fair in Dereham, before it opened to the public.

Sanford House Residents were treated to a visit to Gray Brothers Fair in Dereham

Sanford House Residents were treated to a visit to Gray Brothers Fair in Dereham - Credit: Sanford House

They were treated to candy floss, but the real joy came from Carl’s face when seeing the family business.

“He loved it and we wanted to show him back to reality and seeing the fair jogged his memory, he knew every ride and what was going on,” Mr Gray said.

“He was asking, ‘where is the waltz, where is this and that', and it was so nice, it really helped him.

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“You could see the little things coming back to him, if he goes into a daze I mention a place like Briston, Wells, or Sheringham, I can say these places where we travelled all our lives and he can relate back to it and come out of that lost place.”

The fair travels across Norfolk and the trip was arranged by senior carer Sian Grimes and Joan Auton, home manager at Sanford House.

Residents Caroline Gurney, Joan Lockhart, Eileen Caudrey, Carl Gray and Ray Noble, along with members of staff

Residents Caroline Gurney, Joan Lockhart, Eileen Caudrey, Carl Gray and Ray Noble, along with members of staff Jackie Norton, Surya Narayan, Daisy Ruddle, Sian Grimes, and Jaseel Thuppillikadan. - Credit: Sanford House

Mrs Auton said there is a huge benefit of taking residents out, especially following the pandemic.

“During the lockdowns and beyond we could not go anywhere, we were locked in at the care home, but now we are starting to go out,” she said.

“We are heading to Cromer this weekend, and it's so nice to take the residents out, and get that sense of normality."