Meet the cast

In the first episode of Channel 4's Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds we welcomed 102-year-old Sylvia who was born during WW1 and who gave birth to her first child during the blitz in WW2.

We also met 97-year-old Victor who at 18 found himself on the beach at Dunkirk.

And we were introduced to a blossoming friendship between 4-year-old Scarlett who lost her Mum when she was only three and shy 84-year-old Beryl.


Sylvia Fairholme, 102

At 102 years old Sylvia could still bend down and touch her toes.

She moved to Lark Hill when it opened in 2009. She moved from her home of 69 years.

She said: “I love it. It’s the best thing I did. Everyone is so friendly and you know that if you want help there is somebody there all the time.”

She enjoyed taking part in the show and believed it is important for older people and children to mix: “You don’t realise you are getting older when you have children running around you. You want to join in.”

Sadly, Sylvia died in 2020.

Victor Chanter, 97

Victor can remember the horse and cart that delivered the coal and the lamplighters with their long poles lighting the streets.

He was a footman to a retired Scottish army major before joining the navy, where he was awarded the Legion d’honneur.

Victor moved to Lark Hill in 2010 and began a singing quartet with other residents.

He has written a book about his and his late wife’s life, titled It was all worthwhile.

Victor enjoyed taking part in the show and found it interesting to see a new generation: "It was great.”

Read more about Victor.

Beryl Poulson, 86

Beryl moved to Lark Hill in 2015 and says: “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

She can still remember the wartime bombing raid that happened as a child.

Beryl now spends her time playing bowls and bridge at the village.

She says she benefited from the show and reflects: “It was another opportunity to mix and get to know people… The children were lovely… I thoroughly enjoyed every day.”

Read more about Beryl.

Lavinia Faulkner, 81

Lavinia was Brown Owl in the Brownies for 20 years and has around 200 owl ornaments and pictures in her bungalow.

She spent her childhood in London during the war and recalls a bomb dropping on the pub at the corner of her road.

Lavinia moved to Lark Hill four years ago and enjoys the peace of the village: “There’s always someone there when I want them.”

She liked taking part in the show. And what does she think older people can learn from children? “How to be happy."

Read more about Lavinia.

Ken Pidcock, 87

Ken lived in Africa for 15 years and Spain for 20. African artefacts now adorn his bungalow at Lark Hill.

He says at Lark Hill he's not lonely: “I’m only a few yards away if I want company. It’s a wonderful place.”

Ken was amazed to be asked to take part in the show and felt it was life-changing. He says: “I was there to help the children. I didn’t think I could benefit.”

But it brought him out of his shell: “Now I feel confident to do anything.”

Read more about Ken.

Pauleen Davies, 92

92-year-old great grandmother Pauleen has a portrait in her apartment, drawn by one of the children taking part in Old People’s Home for 4 Year-Olds.

“I treasure it,” says Pauleen. “They were just delightful kids. I loved being with them.”

She believes it is important for older people and children to mix. The children can learn to understand older people and the older people have the joy of reminiscing.

“It reminds you of the songs you used to sing them and the stories you used to tell them,” she says.

“I have always loved small children.”

Read more about Pauleen.


Margaret Reynolds, 83

Margaret, a former nursery teacher, has osteoarthritis in her spine, hands, and shoulders. She has also had both knees and a hip replaced.

But that didn’t stop her dancing with her walker when she took part in Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds.

“I loved every minute. I really did,” she says.

Read more about Margaret.


Lilian Calvert, 81

Lilian started tap dancing when she was seven years old. She became a professional dancer when she was 15, and danced until she was 18.

Then she stopped dancing for 50 years. “I never thought about it,” she says.

In her late seventies, she started teaching tap dancing at the village. “It was lovely, I was giving something of myself and I knew I could do it easily. People really looked forward to it.”

Earlier this year she had to give it up because of her health.

She loved taking part in Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. “I liked the contact with the little ones,” she says.

She danced and wore a different outfit every day.

Read more about Lilian.


Kathleen Mayfield, 91

Great-grandmother Kathleen brought up six of her own children.

She doesn't remember it being hard work, but she says: “It was penny pinching a lot. My husband earned five pounds a week to keep us.”

Taking part in the programme reminded her of bringing up her own children. 

She loves spending time with children and says taking part in Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds was “very enjoyable.”

Read more about Kathleen.


Fred Thompson, 84

Fred, the youngest of four children, was just six years old when he was evacuated to America to protect him from harm after the outbreak of war.

It was five years later, and the end of the war, when he saw his parents again.

He can still remember boarding the ship with his brother and two sisters. “It was an adventure, like a family outing,” he recalls.

Fred says he enjoyed taking part in Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. “It was good fun,” he says.

Read more about Fred.

Barbara Webb, 81

Barbara and her husband Arthur, 86, were foster parents and adopted a daughter.

Barbara, who doesn’t have grandchildren, says she enjoyed every minute of taking part in Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds.

“I didn’t feel I was as old as I am,” she says. “I felt a lot younger. I always felt really privileged to be able to be with the children. They all had their own personalities.

“I learnt a lot from them. My husband says I’m the biggest worrier in the village; I worry too much about everything. The children taught me not to keep worrying all the time. Now I have started to enjoy myself more and realise there is more to life than worrying.”

Read more about Barbara.