A PUNCH and Judy fan has won a “Pimp My Zimmer” competition – beating dozens of other competitors with his puppet themed design.
Bill Porter, 98, helped decorate his walker like a traditional seaside show, complete with a red and white striped curtain and an old poster of the famous puppet pair.
Carers at Simonsfield Care Home, on Boston Avenue, Runcorn, chose the Punch and Judy theme after Bill recalled seeing the show when he was a child.
He said: “I remember it being a real treat to go to the beach as a young boy and watch the show.”
Bill received a hamper of sweets and other goodies for his winning walker from competition organizer Zoe McEvoy, from Halton Borough Council.
Zoe said: “We loved the Punch and Judy theme and felt it really represented a time in his life when this was very popular and could trigger some happy memories for other residents. Also the fact he is 98 years of age and still moving is fantastic.”
Debbie Smith, home manager at Simonsfield Care Home, said: “Bill is a character and does make a lot of noises mimicking animals to Punch and Judy.
“He recalls going to watch the show several times when he was a lad, so his carers came up with the idea of dressing his frame in a Punch and Judy theme.
“We’re delighted he won the competition and he’s been sharing his hamper among the other residents.”
There were over 35 entries into the competition, with several coming from Simonsfield’s sister home, Halton View Care Home, on Sadler Street, Widnes.
Among the home’s entrants was Tom Hughes, 90, a barber of over 50 years who ran a shop in Farnworth, Widnes, for two decades.
He decorated his walker in traditional barber shop colours and a sign reading “Tom’s Barber Shop”. He said: “Being a barber was my life.”
Mary Brown, 88, also from Halton View Care Home, chose a green clover theme for her zimmer, in recognition of her Irish roots.
Pink ribbons, a pink woolen satchel, butterflies and hearts adorned 87-year-old Kath Dutton’s walker, which received praise from hospital staff during her recent appointment.
Both Stan Wycherley, 95, and Hugh Rone, 74, chose their favourite football clubs for their designs – Liverpool and Everton, respectively.
Melissa Hunt, activities coordinator at Halton View Care Home, said: “We started out with one or two residents willing to take part in the competition, choosing a theme and decorating their frames.
“When the other residents started to see the finished designs, more and more wanted it done, and their families also got involved asking for their loved ones’ frames to be dressed.
“Rather than sticking to the odd bow or tassel, we learned a lot more about the residents, their pasts, hobbies and interests, so we could help them decorate their walkers to represent their personalities.
“It has been a fantastic activity and competition and we will definitely be taking part next time.”
Halton Borough Council is continuing the Pimp My Zimmer competition in October, with a Halloween theme chosen for entrants. Entries should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, with name and age of the entrant, a photo of the final design and contact information.