Icing on the cake

Ted Waller has spent his working life serving the community in different capacities. We reflect on the community life he now enjoys at High Pines in Berkshire.

I first had the pleasure of meeting Ted several years ago. He and Pam, his wife, had been living in their wonderfully spacious and well located park home for three years, and now five years later things have only got better!

I hadn’t known originally what a great cake baker Ted was! My first visit enabled a tasting of a delicious cupcake but this time round I was even more spoiled and was greeted with the most delectable chocolate sandwich cake! A whole one! Little wonder he has orders coming in for his cakes left, right and centre; it was scrummy!

How, why and where

It’s always interesting hearing people’s personal stories and journeys of how they come to be part of the park home living community. A secret that’s getting out as more and more people are recognising the many benefits it brings for a happier, more relaxed way of life.

Ted and Pam were no exception and nine years ago had been intrigued when one of his sisters purchased a park home at Grange Park in Shepperton, followed shortly by his other sister and husband who decided to purchase on the same site and moved all the way from Kent. Motivated by the opportunities park home life could bring, Ted and Pam were encouraged to put their own wheels in motion.

Both Ted and Pam were working hard in Surrey and lived in Feltham at the time. Both craved a life where quality was the main focus, time for each other and a calm, quiet environment far from a frenetic pace, rush of traffic, noise and pollution. (Sound familiar?) They wanted to sit back and embrace stillness around them, the soothing noise of bird song and the breeze rustling leaves in the trees.

That’s when they found their park home on High Pines in Bracknell which ticked all the boxes! The only downside was the distance to work which was a concern, but Pam is still making the daily commute – heartened by the knowledge that she is coming home to peace and relaxation. (It might also help a tad that she has a very flashy top of the range car to drive!)

Getting the basics right

Ted and Pam’s home is absolutely lovely. It’s actually thirty three years old but you wouldn’t guess it! The home has been modernised tastefully to Ted and Pam’s personal taste.

On moving in however, Ted recognised immediately the need to ensure the chassis and supports under the home were in a good condition for the well-being of the home and before any major works be undertaken. It’s fair to expect some remedial work would be required with an aged home and when they employed Park Home Chassis Services (PHCS) to inspect under the home the need to replace all the rusted supports with new galvanised ones to ensure the home was re-supported correctly was identified. That was eight years ago.

A couple of years later Ted and Pam also had PHCS SnuggerFLOOR underfloor insulation installed as they had been experiencing some cold chill from the floors.

“Just a few days after the SnuggerFLOOR installation we noticed a definite difference with the heating only kicking in three or four times in the evening”.

Unexpected u turn

Seven months after moving in to their dream home, Ted started experiencing chest pains and finally having been persuaded to seek medical attention, it transpired Ted required heart surgery with the fitting of an aortic valve. A huge blow for Ted and the family. He had to take twelve months off work waiting for the operation and then had a long rehabilitation period. If you knew Ted, you’d know this would have been dreadfully depressing for someone so energetic, fun and vibrant. Fortunately he is back with a vengeance, joking and smiling (sometimes moaning!) and planning things to do.

Ted has been go get about their home from the start. Since they moved in Ted has had the kitchen re-designed and installed, fitted a new bathroom, replaced windows, installed central heating and new wall cladding. He’s on the third round of internal painting too!

If you look after it, it will look after you!

Ted’s motto about their home is ‘if you look after it, it will look after you’. And that’s exactly why Ted ensures all is in tip top condition. Only recently he called PHCS out to re-inspect under the home again.

“It had been six years since the chassis had been surveyed and as we have made changes inside and outside of the home over the years I wanted PHCS to check it again for our peace of mind.”

Happily everything was all in sound condition – apart from Dave the surveyor who came out from under the home covered in cobwebs!  PHCS was able to confirm the underneath of the forty two year home was in good order and strength. It highlights the benefits of detecting any issues early on, such as the rusted supports Ted had replaced years earlier, to avoid longer term and more costly problems.

“I know I can trust Park Home Chassis Services. The team are friendly and professional and I can rely on their expertise. That’s why I will always call them!”

Enjoying the community

Ted is most definitely a ‘people person’! It’s frustrating he no longer works as his career has always involved working with the public or for the community. You can’t help but like being around him and his jesting self!

Ted joined the army at eighteen years of age and spent fifteen very happy years in military service, working in Germany for seven of the years as a senior ranking NCO in Transport. With a short spell as a roof tiler in Germany (goodness knows how he got the job, he hadn’t been on a roof before…) he returned to his roots in South West London and was back in the driving seat for the London Buses. Every day was fun! He shared banter with the customers and over the fifteen years became acquainted with regular passengers such as Buster Merryfield who played Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses.

Ted later became head concierge for Hilton Heathrow at Terminal 4 and his latest role was with LHR (formerly BAA) as Security outside the Terminal. Ted revelled in the camaraderie that came with the job and still remains friends with team members.

Busy enjoying life!

Unsurprisingly Ted doesn’t remain idle. If he’s not decorating inside, sorting out the garden, laying block paving, erecting colour fencing, planting flowering pots, he’s planning day trips out and weekends away for Pam and he!

Since last seeing him they have been for four annual week long holidays to the USA (shopping and eating!) but this year they are staying closer to home and booking a B&B in Devon which sounds much more relaxing!

The oven is always hot as Ted is always baking. (A little hint Ted – my next choice is lemon drizzle cake please!) But he did also let me in to another little pastime secret and that’s the ‘gentlemen’s chit chat’ that he and the other male residents in the cul-de-sac share when in their gardens. Recommended for summertime chilling!

I once asked Ted the question ‘what if you won the lottery?’  He didn’t hesitate in responding that they’d still live in a park home but might want to buy a site of them! He still remains of the same opinion – so that’s a vote of confidence for park lifestyle and community living!

In a nutshell:

  • Ted and Pam chose park home living for quality of life. It has afforded them the peace and security that they were seeking
  • Ted is a strong advocate of maintaining his park home and is aware that the chassis and supporting structure must be in good condition for the long term strength and stability of the home
  • Ted understands the importance of professional and credible suppliers and will always call on the services of Park Home Chassis Services for the underside of their home
  • PHCS inspects under all manufactures and ages of park home and provides fully detailed written reports with photos. PHCS is also the leading expert for chassis maintenance and refurbishment, and the installation of their highly acclaimed PHCS SnuggerFLOOR underfloor insulation.