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Family-run care home in Surrey celebrates 90 years of providing care

The Whalley Family

The Birtley House family is celebrating a significant milestone – 90 years of providing care. The Whalley family at Birtley House Nursing Home in Bramley, Surrey, marked the occasion with a tea party for residents, friends, and families in their beautiful grounds.

History worth celebrating

Simon Whalley’s family founded the care home business in the 1930’s, and Simon has been a director at the nursing home for the past fifty years. Simon’s grandfather called on his experience as an army surgeon in the First World War to pioneer the private care of those with mental health problems as far back as the 1920s, offering an alternative to generational living with medical support many years before the NHS was conceived. Today, each of the five board directors at this thriving Surrey care home is a member of the Whalley family.

Frank Whalley, Managing Director at Birtley House said, “We are very proud of Birtley House and our long history of care. It was important that everyone was involved in the celebration. This is the first Birtley House garden party for several years due to the pandemic and it was lovely to see our residents and their families enjoying a very jolly afternoon together.”

Family members, staff, and residents celebrate together on the lawn at Birtley House

To celebrate the significant milestone of 90 years in care, the residents of Birtley House along with their families, staff members, and friends were invited to enjoy a party on the lawn with live entertainment.

Birtley House’s resident chef, Steve Hounsham, provided an afternoon tea, with colourful cake selections presented on vintage cake stands and crockery. The sun shone and a singing duo, My Favourite Things, created a happy atmosphere by singing songs from the 1940s and 1950s.

The Singing Duo, “My Favourite Things”
Vintage Cake Stands and Crockery

Simon Whalley gave an emotional speech on behalf of the family, expressing the pride of being part of the care industry and capturing the history of the business which originated at Eyhurst Court in Sutton, then moved to Loxwood House in West Sussex, before finally settling at Birtley House in 1945.
Simon told guests at the party: “Birtley House is proud to be one of the oldest private nursing homes in the country and is almost certainly the only nursing home under operation for 90 years by the same family in the UK.”

Nine decades of Award-Winning Care

Over the last nine decades, the Whalley family has launched many unique concepts to the care industry over the years. These concepts have won several care awards for their continuous hard work and dedication. Please see some examples below:

  • New ways of paying for care – offering lifetime licenses (where residents do not have to pay tax on the lease) for independent living properties on site
  • New methods of retirement living – such as the Birtley House Mews independent living apartments, introduced in the 1990s
  • Homegrown food on site, challenging nursing home food stereotypes.

Steeped in history and with such a dedicated approach, the family is excited to see what the future holds. We look forward to inviting you to our family-run nursing home and hope that you enjoy what Birtley House has to offer.

Resident relaxing in the Birtley estate grounds on a glorious summers day.
Looking after one another on a special afternoon!

Birtley House Nursing Home is a privately-owned and family-run care home in Bramley, Guildford Surrey, offering residential and respite care for up to 47 people within 48 acres of grounds. If you are interested in learning more about Birtley House Nursing home, please call 01483 892 055 or