Colten Care home resident's lifelong dream achieved age 89

Teddy Edward makes the page

Aged 89 living in a Colten Care home, Rosalind achieved her lifelong dream of publication as a children's author 

Roasalinde with teddies in garden

Ed Note: This is such a lovely story about a local Colten Care resident's lifelong wishes coming to fruition, that although Fernhill is not quite in the New Forest we felt it was sufficiently special to share with you all.

Rosalind nee Ransome: a full and fascinating life 

Staff at a Dorset dementia care home have helped to fulfil the lifelong wish of a literary-minded resident who dreamt of having her childhood stories published.

Rosalind Corkett, who passed away in February aged 89 after living at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Longham home Fernhill, wrote three tales with her teddy bear as protagonist when she was growing up in Osterley, West London.

The bear, Edward Rupert Ransome Bear, was given to the young Rosalind Ransome by her Aunt Daisy, a fan of teddies like the rest of the family.

Edward featured in Rosalind’s self-penned story books Teddy on the Bearfolk Broads, The Adventures of Owly and Teddy, and Teddy’s Holiday.    

The young Rosalind Ransome with Teddy Edward and family members on a holiday on the Norfolk Broads in the 1930s.Each was handwritten on a note pad and illustrated by Rosalind herself. 

The plots were inspired by family letters about holidays in Norfolk and, later, home life while Rosalind’s two elder brothers Bryan and Godfrey were fighting in World War Two.

"Teddy bear code" for letters to her brothers fighting in the war

With wartime censorship limiting what could be written about, Rosalind turned to ‘teddy bear code’ to enable Edward to correspond safely with the brothers via her and her parents Nora and Harold.

Rosalind’s stories demonstrated her love of English, her favourite subject at school, and were an important part of her girlhood along with playing tennis and being in the Girl Guides.

Andrew Lloyd Webber hears her play the piano 

She also had piano lessons from composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mother who was pregnant with him at the time and so, Rosalind used to say, he would have heard her play.  

After school, Rosalind went to secretarial college, found work with a London estate agent and later took up a position reporting to the chief typographer of the Penguin books production department near Heathrow.

Rosalind married in 1958 and had a daughter Jacqui and son Tony while living in Guildford before moves to Petersfield and then Southampton.

Continuing the family’s teddy bear tradition, she regularly read the stories about Teddy Edward, plus Winnie the Pooh and Paddington, to Jacqui and Tony when they were children.

Rosalind Ransome walking with Teddy Edward in the 1930sAfter retirement in Cornwall and eventually moving to Fernhill in April 2020, Rosalind told staff of her heartfelt wish to publish the Teddy Edward stories and explained she had kept her original notebooks safely ever since the 1940s. 

Covid helps a wish to come true 

At the same time and to help her with reminiscence during lockdown, both Tony and Jacqui would read the Edward stories to her via Skype.

In response to Rosalind’s wish, Fernhill’s Companionship Team Leader Kate Morris liaised with Tony and Jacqui, typed up the longhand scripts and sent all the wording plus copies of the illustrations to a book formatter.

The result is: ‘The Adventures of Teddy Edward’, an 80-page paperback containing the three stories and available to order via Amazon for £7.50.

Although Rosalind has passed away, Kate said she was aware the book was going to be published.

“She knew we were doing it and she had a smile on her face when she found out,” said Kate. “She was a wonderful lady and we are so pleased to have fulfilled her wish and given her family something to remember her by.”

Jacqui said: “The book is a lovely keepsake and I know mum would have been thrilled to know it has been published. We thank everyone involved at Fernhill for their hard work in making this happen. It really is a wish come true.”

Pictures from top:

Rosalind Corkett née Ransome with teddies in the garden at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Fernhill dementia care home in Longham near Bournemouth. 

The young Rosalind Ransome with Teddy Edward and family members on a holiday on the Norfolk Broads in the 1930s.

Rosalind Ransome walking with Teddy Edward in the 1930s.

[The Adventures of Teddy Edward – book cover] – The cover of ‘The Adventures of Teddy Edward’ by Rosalind Corkett née Ransome.

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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... 

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