Ashridge Court Care Centre

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Meet our resident, John Plumb!

We’re pleased to introduce our resident John Plumb, who came to live with us at Ashridge Court 14 months ago with Helen, his wife of 67 years.

Before coming to Ashridge, the couple enjoyed a full working and family life. John, now 90, started his career in finance – as a trainee accountant and then stockbroker – but switched to his real love, teaching, after a two-year National Service posting in Nairobi, Kenya. Having taught maths for many years, he studied for a research degree in Careers Education at the University of Sussex. He then spent the next 20 years – very happily – as an educational inspector until his retirement in 1991.

“I really loved being an inspector,” he recalls. “But the most interesting outcome was that I was asked to devise educational projects.” John worked on various developments with a series of partners including the Department of Education. This project concerned secondary schools, technical vocational education and IT, and was eventually adopted throughout Kent. He also led a Eurotunnel-funded project about the history of the tunnel and the technology involved in building it.

Since his retirement, John has developed a love of reading and writing poetry. He has composed several poems, including the evocative and optimistic ‘Tis Summertime again and Oh Virus!, which neatly sums up the sense of chaos and bewilderment caused by the pandemic.

John and Helen met as teenagers and have been together for 70 years. When Helen had to go into care, John insisted on going with her. “We didn’t want to be separated!” he says.  John himself has health problems and cannot manage alone. He had a heart bypass operation in 1991, and has since had three stents and a balloon in his heart. He has also had a hearing impairment since he was a child. The best solution was for the pair to come to Ashridge together.

The couple have three children and five grandchildren. John and Helen keep in regular touch with all the family and look forward to seeing them whenever possible.