Joiner, John Chalk, bought his first park home just six months ago at the age of 77. Still in self-employed work, he has an added project of working on his new home on Lumby Park in Ringwood, Hampshire now too …

John Chalk  makes  no  bones about  it  – he purchased his park home purely for financial reasons. He wanted a sensible home that  was affordable  and  in  the right lo cation  with  amenities in walking distance, too. (He says he needs to prepare for when  he  reaches  OAP age!). Since moving in, however,John has no regrets. He is contented and at peace on  the small, friendly Lumby Park site of just 20 homes… as is Charlie the cat, who  has adopted  the  whole site as his home  as well!

‘More than I could have hoped’
John is currently bringing his home ‘up to scratch’. In the main, it is aesthetics that need updating and he is decorating each room throughout.John was aware, however, that the condition of the underside of his home was vitally important . He realised the stability of the home needed to be addressed and, having experienced very cold floors the last winter , a little extra warmth wouldn’t go amiss either.

John employe d Park Home Chassis Services (PHCS) to inspect the underside of his home . There were insufficient supports in place for the home and those that were there had rusted, consequently not providing adequate strength or stability. PHCS resupported the home  with  the  PHCS HD (hot dip) galvanised supports, ver ified by the Nation al Caravan Council (N CC) . This involved tightening 132 coach bolts between the chassis and floorbearers at the same time .

PHCS has also  installed  its underfloor insulation system to counteract the cold floors  and  draughts. John  said, ‘T he  home feels so  much  more  solid. It  feels like  the home has been sound proofed, too. I’m really looking  forward  to  a  wanner  winter  this year. Honestly, with a team like PHCS the business cannot fail.

Blue suede shoes?
John claims he is a quiet , unassuming guy. Debatable!  He  has been  a joiner  all his working life other than a stint in National Service, Buffs (R oya l East Kent regiment). He went in as  a musician  playing  the euphonium – a large, conical, baritone-voiced brass instrument – and also a string bass in the Buffs  rhythm  and dance band. John describes his time as ‘three wonderful years’. His acclaimed band master Major Sharpe was a great mentor and social acquaintance,  who  lat er  went  on  to  direct the Grenadier Guards and is best known for the  rearrangement  of  the  highly  popular Dad’s Army theme music. It was during these years  that  the Buffs went to Germany and were  involved  in  a tattoo in Frankfurt along with an American band  and  German police. Just  18  years old  himself, he met the 18-year-old Elvis Presley who was stationed there  too.That  same  evening Elvis  did  a  gig for the troops. Blasphemous I know but John ad1nits he  didn’t  really appreciate  Elvis in those days but now enjoys the  music for nostalgic reasons.

He does recall the natural beauty of the German  girlfriend  at  Elvis’s side though!

No end of talent

John comes from a family of brass instrument players. His father was in a band as is his own son now.

Tempted to play again,John is toying with the idea  of buying another  euphonium and is being encouraged to help teach younger players. H is skill and knowledge would be a great asset to others.

John also played football. He played for the Buffs Regi1nent team and then a further  ten years in  a local village team .

No wonder his side won practically everything as the team had a host of ex-professionals  tipping  the balance!

Now  or never…

John focuses  very  much  on  his fami ly and sons. He also regularly visits his brother near Salisbury; he has recently just finished helping bring his  brother’s local pub  back  to life.The brewery had called on volunteers to  restore  it back to trade and John generously crafted the bars. John continues with his cabinet making skills and as an avid clock fanatic he has literally built a grandfather clock  from scratch (apart from the dials). He is now searching for a new  workshop  from which he  can  commence  his  next project. Quite obviously there will be no downing tools for John for some considerable time yet!