History Of Eventide

Eventide Residential Home was founded as a Ltd company on 8th December 1945. It was originally called The Bude - Stratton Aged Peoples' Welfare Society Ltd and has been run on a non- profit making basis ever since.

There are now several Residential and Nursing Homes in the Bude area but Eventide is the oldest of its kind in the town. In fact it is one of only two in the whole of Cornwall that were started after the end of the Second World War.

Discussions about the formation of a home had actually started around 1943, at a time when the Poor Laws still existed. At this time the only place a destitute person could be accommodated was in a Public Assistance Institution (more commonly known as "Work Houses"). Some of you may remember the Work House at Stratton which is now occupied by a factory. Unfortunately this Work House had closed several years before and the nearest was at Launceston.


Eventide Residential Home was founded as a Ltd company on 8th December 1945. It was originally called The Bude - Stratton Aged Peoples' Welfare Society Ltd and has been run on a non- profit making basis ever since.

There are now several Residential and Nursing Homes in the Bude area but Eventide is the oldest of its kind in the town. In fact it is one of only two in the whole of Cornwall that were started after the end of the Second World War.

Discussions about the formation of a home had actually started around 1943, at a time when the Poor Laws still existed. At this time the only place a destitute person could be accommodated was in a Public Assistance Institution (more commonly known as "Work Houses"). Some of you may remember the Work House at Stratton which is now occupied by a factory. Unfortunately this Work House had closed several years before and the nearest was at Launceston.



During the war private accommodation in Bude was at a premium as many of the houses were requisitioned when women and children were evacuated to the country from the big cities, to avoid the bombing. Some of these people would have been receiving Public Assistance.


The plight of many of these people was recognised by the then minister of Flexbury Park Methodist Church, Rev David Proudlove, as well as by Miss Kathleen Pethick. They approached a Mr R.J.H.Hallett, who as well as being a member of the church was also the chairman of the then Bude-Stratton Urban District Council. They expressed their feelings to him that many of these people were finding things very frustrating and several were also very lonely.


A series of meetings followed to see what could be done to maybe provide a home, for people who could barely afford anything more than "lodging values" and certainly not "private rates". At the first of these Mr Hallett was elected chairman and other members of the inaugural committee included Miss Pethick, Mr Alfred Sampson, Mr Harold Davey, Mr Ash and a Miss L. Dymond  who was an English mistress Bude-Stratton County Secondary School.


From records we have available, it appears that the committee members were thinking in terms of £2 per week which seems amazing in modern times as nowadays this would not often buy a cup of coffee.


As previously mentioned, the meetings eventually culminated in the formation of a limited company, The Bude-Stratton Aged Peoples Welfare Society Ltd.


The signatories to the limited company were Mr Hallett (chairman), A.Petherick, R.J.Kinver, A.Cann, Nancy Griffin, Kathleen Pethick and Mr Richard H.S Jones (a local solicitor) who was later to become chairman for many years. His work secretary, Miss M.L.Braddell later became the Society's secretary as well.


After its foundation an appeal for funds was sent out. Sadly Rev Proudlove, who along with Miss Pethick had the foresight to start the venture, died just as the appeal was being sent out.


The appeal sought donations, annual subscriptions, free loans, covenanted gifts for 7 years, or a gift of an house or property. It would be an understatement to say that the response from the public was very poor, especially in relation to the subscriptions received.


The appeal outlined that their objective was to look after the welfare of elderly people in the urban area as well as such parishes in the rural area, as were found practicable for furthering health and relieving poverty, distress or sickness. However they stressed that the committee's main target was the provision of a home specifically with the intention of meeting local needs.


Over the next months meetings were held and promises of loans made but it was not until 1946 when 22 Downs View was de-requisitioned, that the provision of a home looked more of a possibility.


At the time 22 Downs View was in the possession of the Pethick family, owners of the well known Pethicks Builders. As the property was in need of a lot of repairs they offered to sell it to the committee at a "reasonable figure" and at the same time they had an offer, from another source, of a considerable amount of furniture in reasonable condition.


With the help of such generosity, the Home came into being and was officially opened on 1st May 1947 by Mrs A.Griffin JP.

The Early Days Of The Home

The First Matron

The early days of the Home were difficult as not many residents were forthcoming. In some cases this was due to prospective residents having money problems. There was also a legal clause inserted which stated that a resident would be required to leave the Home "if they became unsuitable". This also did not help in filling the Home. There was also another problem, which to some extent still exists today in that regardless of how badly people were finding it to cope, they were not prepared to give up their homes.


In the first two or three years the Home was far from full. The committee were concerned and decided to broaden the field of intake, to further out communities, with little result. However, help was on its way from an unexpected source, National Government.


Just after a year of the Home being opened, what is hailed as one of the greatest achievements of modern times occurred. That being the coming of the Welfare State. Coming into effect on 5th July 1948, accommodation for the elderly took on a completely different role.


The elderly sick were to become the responsibility of "Hospital Boards". Others, needing just care and attention were to be under the charge of the Local Authority (County Councils) unless they were able to make private arrangements. At this time Cornwall County Council had no such homes. All the people who became their liability on the Appointed Date, were all in institutions. Within a short time of the changes to the care of the elderly and less well off by the State, the County Council had a problem. They were inundated by applications, faster than beds could be found.


The County Council had to base people's "ability to pay" on their means. If the had no income or pension, the "Assistance Board" in those early days gave people £1. 1s 0d ( that is  £1 - 5p in today's money) towards their keep and 5s. 0d (five shillings equal to 25p nowadays) for their personal needs. Any additional charges had to be met from County Council funds.


With the Committee still concerned about the lack of applications for beds at Eventide, an approach was made to Cornwall County Council to see if arrangements could be made for the Home to be recognised as Part III Accommodation. This allowed for people to be accommodated at Eventide whilst being funded by the County Council.


The Arrangement was made and from 1st April, 1950, help was provided, then by the County Council and today by the Benefits Agency (Department of Social Security), in appropriate cases.

Eventide Today

In 2003 the home gained charitable status and the name was changed to Eventide Residential Home and it is still run as a non profit making organization to provide a home for the elderly. It is overseen by a Board of Trustees who all give their services free of charge.


On May 1st 2007 the then Mayor of Bude, Cllr. Barry Garvie, joined residents, staff and friends of the Home to celebrate their Diamond Anniversary.

Eventide - The Future

Seventy years on and the requirements and standards have risen in line with the demands of the statutory authorities. Modifications and improvements have been made to Eventide. Staffing levels have risen, and all this continues as an on-going process to provide a valuable resource for the elderly of the area, well into the future.