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Chance Meeting at Singing Group Reunites Care Home Friends After 68 Years

Published: Thursday 5th September 2019

Betty Brian 2

Love of music brings Betty and Brian back together

A care home resident from Dewsbury has been reunited with her former friend and colleague a whopping 68 years after last seeing him.

Betty Teale, 88, who lives at Ashworth Grange care home in Dewsbury, bumped into Brian Holroyd, now 90, after attending a singing group at Avery Mews care home in Heckmondwike where he now lives.

The former colleagues, who both used to work at Holroyd and Pickersgill Auctioneers in Dewsbury almost seven decades ago, have not seen each other since Betty left the company in 1951.

In 1964, at the tender age of 16, Betty started her career at Holroyd and Pickersgill Auctioneers as an office worker, handling admin for the estate agents and auctioneers. Betty left after five years to help her husband set up his own building firm. 

Betty, said: “I knew it was Brian the moment I saw him, I would recognise his face anywhere! We used to have such fun working at the auction house – they were great times – and it has been wonderful to reminisce about this period of my life. We lost contact when I got married as I was so busy helping my husband with his own business so I couldn’t be more delighted that we are back in touch.”  

Brian, whose father owned Holroyd and Pickersgill Auctioneers, added: “We instantly recognised each other as Betty hasn’t changed a bit. I’m really looking forward to visiting her at Ashworth Grange – we have 68 years to catch up on!” 

Colette Senior, lifestyle manager at Ashworth Grange, commented: “Betty was absolutely ecstatic to run into Brian – as soon as she got home she couldn’t wait to tell us all about it. Brian has already visited Betty here at Ashworth Grange where they enjoyed a lovely lunch and a good catch up! They have plans to meet again soon and Betty has even invited Brian to her birthday party next year.  It’s a wonderful story and shows that real friendships can be reignited, even after so much time apart.”

Angela Blackburn, Magic Moments coordinator at Avery Mews care home, said: “Brian has not stopped talking about his chance meeting with Betty since it happened – we are all thrilled that he has been able to reconnect with someone with whom he shares such a vivid history. It’s a really heart-warming story that has had the whole home talking!”

Jonathan Kidd, partner at Holroyd Miller, said:”I’m so happy to hear of Brian meeting up with an old colleague. My first job was with Holroyd Sons and Pickersgill. I joined in 1984 after finishing my A Levels, and having not done very well at all, Brian supported and guided me and led me down a career path I’m very proud to say I never left and thoroughly enjoy to this day. Brian retired in1994 at which point I became a partner, but he never really left. He would visit every week to continue to support us with his wisdom. 

"When we merged with Simon Miller Properties we were keen to keep the Holroyd name and provenance of a much respected family and business. Again Brian couldn’t have been more supportive with our plans for growth and development. I still visit Brian and will be sure to say hello to Betty if she is there at my next visit. Betty must have left before I started but it would be wonderful to hear about Betty’s role in helping the company get to where it is today.”   

Ashworth Grange, which is proud to be rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission, offers 24-hour residential and dementia care in a modern and luxurious setting for 64 people. It operates on an inclusive fee basis for total peace of mind.

Boasting a café, hair salon and spacious lounges, residents can enjoy a full programme of health, leisure and wellbeing activities managed by a dedicated team of carers.

Avery Mews has 45 ensuite rooms and offers 24-hour residential and dementia care in a ‘home from home’ environment. It is proud to be rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission. The home holds many community groups to encourage socialising, with the support of The Magic Moments team, who promote fun. 

To contact  Ashworth Grange, please call  01924 869 970 or