Sunshine celebration at almshouses in Bedford

Nick Phillips, new CEO of the Almshouse Association, with Alison Phillipson, chairman of the trustees of Christie House, Bedford
Nick Phillips, new CEO of the Almshouse Association, with Alison Phillipson, chairman of the trustees of Christie House, Bedford

The iconic curved almshouse along the Embankment in Bedford, Christie House, has celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Residents staff, trustees past and present and friends of the charity celebrated with a garden party in the grounds on Sunday, September 2.

Guests of honour included Nick Phillips, the new CEO of the Almshouse Association. Claude Everett, site foreman for builders Hills of Ampthill, who managed the building works, was also due to attend but a fall rendered him unable to come along.

Alison Phillipson, the chairman of trustees, welcomed the guests and spoke briefly about the history and work of the charity. Guests mingled for several hours in the sunshine, enjoying the food, wine and beautiful gardens. The finale was the cutting of a specially designed celebration cake by the clerk, Tricia Scouller and warden, Julia Morelli.

The almshouses were designed by London architects Trenwith and Simone Wills in Queen Anne Style reminiscent of the 17th century charity founder, Thomas Christie.

Christie House replaced the eight original almshouses which were condemned in the early 1960s, making way for the development of Bedford town centre. The original almshouses were built by philanthropist Thomas Christie, a lawyer in Bedford who cared about his community’s needs.

The Thomas Christie Almshouse Charity has been providing housing for over 300 years and prides itself on putting residents first, providing quality housing and taking excellent care of the buildings and grounds. The almshouses were extended six years ago when John Crosse House was built bringing the number of flats up to 26.

Visit www.thomaschristie.com