New Forest Colten Care resident Mabel looking good at 106

Mabel Looker is looking very good - at 106

Now living at Colten Care's Belmore Lodge, when she was born the First World War was less than a year old, most British homes were still lit by gas and the cinema was a new craze.

old photo of young girl

One of the south’s oldest residents has celebrated her 106th birthday at Belmore Lodge, one of Colten Care's three homes in Lymington.

When Mabel Looker was born in spring 1915, the First World War was less than a year old, most British homes were still lit by gas and the cinema was a new craze.

When staff at Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge in Lymington asked for her secret of longevity, Mabel replied with a smile: “I would love to know the answer myself.”

Mabel’s big day involved a Covid-safe visit from her daughter Janet Morley, a Happy Birthday serenade from care staff, glasses of bubbly and a homemade marzipan cake, her favourite.

Knowing that one of Mabel’s enduring passions is the Spitfire, team members presented her with the gift of a glass ornament depicting the iconic aircraft.

Flying in a helicopter alongside a Spitfire - at 98

old lady sitting in planeIt brought back happy memories of a helicopter ride Mabel took at the age of 98, flying alongside a Spitfire on a trip over the white cliffs of Dover.

A regular visitor to airshows, Mabel had long held a dream to be up close to a Spitfire in the air and she was especially pleased when the pilot allowed her to inspect the cockpit after the flight.

Born in Manchester and related to the Winder family of artists, Mabel moved to Swansea when she was still a young girl and later to Bournemouth where her parents opened a guest house.

She was a teenager when she met her future husband Cyril at the youth club in St John’s Church, Boscombe.

They married during World War Two and had two children. After seeing wartime service in the RAF, Cyril later became chief clerk in the borough surveyor’s office in Christchurch.

Mabel worked at a laundry in Pokesdown, then in-service as a cook in Bournemouth, and later as a home help.

106 year old lady sittingIn her spare time, she knitted thousands of soft toys for charity and enjoyed gardening, cricket and going to watch horseracing especially at Salisbury Racecourse.

One of her happiest holiday memories is of going on a cable car trip to the top of Table Mountain in South Africa.

Before moving to Belmore Lodge, Mabel lived in nearby Highcliffe. She is the eldest of four Belmore residents who are aged 100 or more.

A few miles along the south coast, Colten Care has another 106-year-old resident living at Outstanding-rated Canford Chase in Poole.

Across the whole group of 21 Colten homes in the south, there are three 105-year-olds and four residents who are aged 104.

Julie House, Belmore Lodge Home Manager, said: “Mabel is a remarkable lady who is kind, amusing and young at heart. It was a great privilege to help her celebrate her 106th birthday with lots of fun and smiles, and of course the chance to reflect on her experiences and memories of a life well lived.”

The photos are of Mabel Looker as a young girl, on her helicopter flight at age 98 watching a Spitfire over the white cliffs of Dover, and on her 106th birthday at Colten Care's Belmore Lodge care home in Lymington, Hampshire.

2 weeks free april 2021

Two weeks free in a New Forest Colten Care home 

Try care home living for yourself or your loved one, at Colten Care's expense. All Colten Care homes are currently offering a 2 weeks free stay, so why not see for yourself what sets them apart - once you experience their comfort, care and companionship it's highly likely you'll want to stay longer!

Three of Colten's New Forest homes are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission: Linden House specialist dementia care home in Lymington, Woodpeckers residential home in Brockenhurst and Kingfishers in New Milton.


Find out more about Colten Care

With more than 30 years’ experience, Colten Care is an award-winning family-owned care home company. It has 21 quality care homes covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex and offers a range of services spanning residential, nursing and dementia care. Seven of the homes are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and Colten Care earns a consistently high group score, currently 9.9 out of ten, on the public review site Carehome.co.uk. Based on such third-party advocacy, Colten Care is the UK’s highest-rated care home group for its size.

All Colten Care homes are registered for nursing care

Excellent nurse led careAll homes are registered for nursing care and four are dedicated dementia care homes with Admiral Nurse support. Unlike people who receive domiciliary care in their own homes, residents in Colten Care homes have the reassurance that 24/7 nurse-led care with companionship is on hand whenever they need it. Residents live in the highest standards of accommodation, enjoying homecooked food, fresh laundry and housekeeping services, and safe, peaceful and inspiring gardens. Colten Care also supports residents to raise thousands of pounds for charities of their choice every year. Founded more than 35 years ago, Colten Care has won multiple awards for the quality of its care and remains an independent, family-owned care home provider. For more information, visit www.ColtenCare.co.uk

Three Colten Care homes in the New Forest are rated outstanding

Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the New Forest, three of which are rated Outstanding and three of which are in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House (Outstanding). There are also homes in Brockenhurst -Woodpeckers (Outstanding), New Milton - Kingfishers (Outstanding) and Mudeford - Avon Reach. Click on the links to find out more about each home... 

Colten Care's Avon Reach    Colten Care Court Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Linden House Lymington 

Colten Care Belmore Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Kingfishers New Milton    Colten Care Woodpeckers Brockenhurst




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