David had taken his mum Elsie for a walk and afterwards they were having a coffee in the café of the local museum in Stroud. On the tables, were holders containing the ‘Chance To Chat’ postcards, including a few postcards explaining about the project. Elsie is living with dementia in a local care home. David showed his mum a postcard with an image of a steam train leaving the local station. This sparked a half hour conversation about family life and Elsie chatted about family trips by train to the seaside. She talked about how she would take David and his two sisters with a pushchair into the guard’s van and how some days they took inflated tractor inner tubes to play in the local swimming pool and many of the local children would play with them.
David said during this discussion he talked with his Mum about the man in the local signal box, who was friend’s with David’s Dad. David also discussed a memory of a day when he asked one of the drivers “can we cab your train mister?”, they were yanked into the cab by the fireman where he was cooking bacon and eggs on a shovel.
David and Elsie hadn’t talked about these shared memories for years and later that day they chatted and joked with other family members. The stories were written on the postcard and sent to one of Elsie’s daughters. David felt it had helped to strengthen family bonds.
(names have been changed)