The bookshelves at Crandon Springs in Wells were treated to a new addition last week following a visit from published local author, Alison Knight. Staff and residents at Crandon Springs care home were delighted to welcome Alison, who writes under the pseudonym May Ellis, to the home and were treated to a reading from her book ‘The Clarks Factory Girls at War’, as well as a conversation with the author afterwards.

Topics ranged from Alison’s research process that went into the beginnings of making the book, memories of the factory and local area, as well as the residents’ other favourite books.

This book was particularly poignant for some Crandon Springs residents, having worked at the local factory in the past, including 96-year-old Joy Gane who started a job there when she was 16. Upon collecting her signed copy, Joy said: “We had a great day and I very much enjoyed reading Alison’s new book and exchanging stories, both with other residents and those that Alison had uncovered during her research.”

Author Alison admitted that she was “excited and terrified” about the prospect of writing the book, saying: “I live right here in the centre of the Clarks' heartland, so if I've got it wrong, people are going to let me know!” Emily Merchant, the activities co-ordinator at the home, commented: “Our residents all love to read and to discuss their favourite books, so to have a published, local author in who has written about something that is so close to their hearts and is part of the fabric of their memories, was such a great experience.” Andy Hamilton, home service advisor at the home, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for us all to spend the day talking about a new favourite book, as well as their past memories and how some of their lives have amazingly criss-crossed over the years.  We also had a great debate about reading from print or electronically from a tablet, there were strong arguments from both camps.”

Crandon Springs is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, which is committed to delivering high-quality care across its care homes and hospitals. Crandon Springs provides residential care, dementia care and respite care. To find out more about Barchester or to find your closest care home, visit their website: