Downton creator’s a gracious guest - writer whose work captivated millions around the world visits Letchworth hospice to meet the team

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and his wife Emma visited the Garden House Hospice in Letchwor

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and his wife Emma visited the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth. They are pictured with chief executive Sue Plummer, left, and chair of trustees John Proctor - Credit: Archant

There was a VIP visitor at Letchworth’s Garden House Hospice on Friday when the writer who created the worldwide TV hit Downton Abbey dropped in to the Gillison Close care headquarters.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and his wife Emma visited the Garden House Hospice in Letchwor

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and his wife Emma visited the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth. Lord Fellowes chats with Irene Harding - Credit: Archant

He’s listed as Julian Fellowes when the credits roll but the man who came up with the upstairs and downstairs storylines that gripped millions of viewers over six series is a peer of the realm.

So it was Lord and Lady Fellowes who stepped across the threshold to meet staff, volunteers, patients and family members – though they were quickly known as Julian and Emma to everyone they met.

The couple enjoyed a tour of the hospice that included the in-patient unit, day services and the kitchen where they were introduced to the catering team.

They spent time chatting with patients and families and answered lots of questions about Downton and the new period drama, Belgravia, which has yet to reach our screens.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and his wife Emma visited the Garden House Hospice in Letchwor

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and his wife Emma visited the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth. Lady Fellowes chats with Peter Wardman Brown and his wife - Credit: Archant


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Lord and Lady Fellowes are supporters of hospice care and were interested to learn about the development of the Hawthorne Centre – named in honour of former patron and renowned actor Sir Nigel Hawthorne – and the new schedule of activities that include tai chi, relaxation sessions, complementary therapy, meditation, art therapy, the stepping out exercise group and a ‘life stories for wellbeing’ group.

Chief executive Sue Plummer, said “We all really enjoyed meeting Lord and Lady Fellowes and it was very obvious from the way they spoke with patients and staff that they have a vast amount of experience of what palliative and end of life care means from both a patient and staff perspective.

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“It was an absolute pleasure to be able to host them at the hospice.”

Garden House Hospice provides specialist care for people from across North Herts and Stevenage. It provides in-patient care, a hospice at home service, a day service and bereavement support.

It needs to raise £2million in charitable income every year in order to run its services.

All the care provided to patients and their families is delivered at no cost to them.

For more information visit www.ghhospice.co.uk or call 01462 679540.

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