105th birthday celebration
3 June 2014
‘Am I going to dream tonight!’ said Miss Howes after her 105th birthday celebration at RAMM.
After a delicious light lunch in the RAMM Café, she had a full volunteer-led tour of the museum, coffee and birthday cake in the RAMM Cafe with the Museum Manager, Camilla Hampshire, then a behind-the-scenes tour of the onsite museum store with the Curator of Natural History, Holly Morgenroth. Highlights included a clutch of red-backed shrike eggs that were collected on the day of her birth, 31 May 1909.
Miss Howes has lived in Devon since the 1940s and is currently living at the Lodge in Exeter. She came to Exeter as a professional social worker for children and the elderly in Devon and Cornwall and was in the forefront of major policy changes throughout her working life. During the visit she recollected events from her life, including the many a battle she had with chauvinistic male colleagues resentful of her intrusion into their domain. ‘Maggie and her handbag helped put an end to all that’ she commented with glee.
During her long life Miss Howes has witnessed extraordinary changes like the mass introduction of radio then television, the demise of horse drawn transport and two world wars. She still takes a keen interest in current affairs and politics and embraces the continued change. Latterly she has been heavily involved in Cathedral life and has completed various tapestry pieces that remain with the cathedral today.
About The Lodge
The Lodge is an award-winning care home, the basis of which is a charity set up by Elizabeth Finn some 130 years ago. It remains part of that charity and seeks to help like-minded people enjoy their later years of life together. Miss Howes has been a resident at The Lodge for 17 years and has always participated in life there to the full.
Working with older visitors
RAMM aims to be a welcoming, enjoyable and inspirational place for visitors of all ages and has run several activities aimed at older visitors, from culture cafes in partnership with Age UK – a chance to touch museum objects and share cake and conversation with curators – to a group just for isolated, elderly gentlemen. RAMM has excellent wheelchair access and is working to make the museum more dementia-friendly, raising staff awareness and developing activities alongside people with dementia and their caregivers, the Alzheimers Society and locally based consultants Innovations in Dementia.