Ritchie Court - a block of 43 purpose-built apartments for over 55s - was opened in 1976. The moving spirit in this enterprise was Professor Ritchie Russell, under whose auspices the residence took shape as a self-governing association, operating under Friendly Society Regulations.
As its name implies, its aim is to provide a place for over 55s to live independent and secure lives, managing their own affairs, individually and collectively, with some backup to make this possible.
Ritchie Court was built to a high specification. Quality materials were used, and the corridors and communal areas are spacious, high-ceilinged and light. The same is true of the apartments. These all have separate kitchens, bathrooms and store rooms, which contribute to a general feeling of space, light and practicality. Some apartments have patios; others generous balconies.
"43 purpose built apartments for over 55s, opened in 1976"
HOW IT WORKS
All residents are members of the Association and elect members of the Board of Management from among themselves. The Board also include co-opted experts. This makes for a coherent community which has every chance of meeting resident's wishes.
Whilst the need for individual privacy is fully respected, a warden is on the premises for 24 hours a day, acting as a good neighbour, to help with practical problems and emergencies. The warden also gives access to an invaluable handyman.
Residents are free to take what part they like in the life of Ritchie Court.
Some want to be more actively involved than others. Many find the weekday lunches an opportunity for meeting other residents. The House Activities Committee lays on various events and talks. (The dining room is fitted with a hearing loop.) There is weekly Tai Chi, a library and a variety of individually arranged groups, for example for bridge, scrabble or coffee mornings for charity. The roof garden allows keen gardeners opportunities to raise their favourite plants and also provides a quiet sunny setting.