A trip down memory lane

We put on hats to inspire a trip down memory lane

Memory lane hat

As we grow older, we get a lot of happiness from a trip down memory lane, remembering our lives as they were in days gone by. Houses we have lived in, the daily tasks that were so different back then, places we’ve visited, clothes we wore, schools, families, and friends, not to mention transport and holidays.

We were lucky enough to enjoy a visit recently that sparked such memories for all of us. Called ‘Memory Lane’ this themed reminiscence group for older people is led by Helen Fountain, Reminiscence Officer for the Museum of Oxford. Helen uses items of clothing and accessories from yesteryear to stimulate discussion on how people dressed and lived in the past.

Helen brought a collection of museum objects to the session at Fairfield, which was a great way to stimulate discussions and encourage residents to communicate with each other by sharing stories and memories in a fun and interactive way. The theme of the visit was clothing and Helen had brought a selection of old clothing and accessories for us to try on that sparked memories and lots of discussion as we reminisced about the old days.

It was really interesting and I really liked seeing all the old corsets. I never wore them but my mother used to!

Mrs Williams, resident

The residents thoroughly enjoyed the ensuing discussions, and sharing their experiences and memories of olden days and former lives. Helen encouraged us to pass the items of clothing around and try them on – the hats created much laughter and talk of when we used to wear a hat whenever we went out and the different style of hats worn by different people and professions. Everyone had lots of stories to share and happy memories triggered by the items of old clothing.

Mrs Williams, a Fairfield resident who attended the session, said, “It was really interesting and I really liked seeing all the old corsets. I never wore them but my mother used to.” She delighted us by telling us her memories of her mother and how she lived. Another resident, Miss Kurtz, found it fascinating. In particular she said “I loved trying on the hats.” A much enjoyed trip down memory lane!

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