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!