John Parfoot has had his fair share of moving around in his life. Now the time has come for the former RAF serviceman to move back to his roots… but continue the joys of park living
John Parfoot was the middle child, between an older brother and younger sister. John’s father had been in the army and, as youngsters John and his siblings moved from home to home, school to school. It was an unsettling part of his childhood in which it was difficult to establish long-term friendships and his education was severely disrupted.The family eventually settled in Gosport, Hampshire when John was 11, but his schooling had been blighted and he still regrets that, despite his brightness, he didn’t get to the local grammar school after failing his 11-plus.
His best subjects were art, English and woodwork, which – even until today – he has continued to enjoy and develop his interest and flair for.
After leaving school, John had a variety of different jobs until he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF), mainly based in Lyneham,Wiltshire. It was during this time that he also studied and became proficient at photography. But his real job in the Force was as a safety equipment specialist, checking the equipment that the larger transport aircraft carried.
Sadly, John had a debilitating accident when he slipped on an oil spillage in a hanger and damaged his spine. As well as a spinal injury, medical examinations recognised an ongoing spinal problem that has caused so much pain.While John spent seven years in the RAF, two of them were on light duties and, despite time spent at Halton, the RAF hospital could not find a cure and discharged him.
During his time in the RAF John married and his wife Pat gave birth to the first of their two children, daughter Babs (his son Mike arrived later).
John’s wife had been in the Women’s RAF (WRAF) but in those days you were unable to continue service once married. It was at this time that Pat was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis, which sadly took her life seven years ago.
John and Pat moved to Gosport and lived in a prefab after his term in the Air Force and, due to his health issues, he was mostly restricted to shop work. He also trained as a supervisor, helping unemployed youths. He began to put his research and writing skills to use and wrote two books: Down to 50 Feet and A Touch of History. Both are about the history of RAF Gosport airfield and have been published by a local businessman for RAF Gosport Aviation Museum.
John also helped run the RAF Gosport to HMS Siskin Association, where he also edited its magazine, The Tin-Fish.
Inspired to write
John is also in the process of writing a manuscript of the stories of 300 veterans from the army, navy and air force.These are precious first-hand scripts of servicemen who had their own stories to tell: valuable, moving, and sometimes hilarious personal accounts of history not to be lost. John is looking for a publisher so if there’s anybody out there…
The house in Gosport was proving a burden. They decided to move and release equity but how were they to do that, and still find a home with three bedrooms, accommodate two dogs and provide sufficient parking?
Somewhere to Hyde?
They looked in earnest and found their answer in a brand new park home on the lovely Hyde Park, in Cambridgeshire. It’s a small, exclusive site of only 23 homes.The home perfectly accommodates the three of them, plus allows for two dogs and two parking bays! It’s very fortunate and quite
rare to have that package in one! The home is in great order throughout with fresh and modern fittings.The garden is pretty with a mix of lawn, patio and potted plants. John welcomes the kindness offered by everyone on site. People are on hand to help but he says that people respect each other’s privacy too.
Hyde Park is just over four miles from the small cathedral city of Ely.The city is a magnet for John’s passion for archaeology and history, as it is steeped with ancient times and buildings. He loves the cathedral and says that by putting his hands on the stonework you can sense the bygone centuries.
Unfortunately, with the shared health isues between John and his children – who have inherited Neurofibromatosis – he has a need to escape some memories.
It is with sadness that John, with his daughter and son, is looking to sell the lovely park home at Hyde Park.
They all look after each other. Babs, John’s daughter, is at home with him each day and despite her own illness is full of cheer and generosity. John’s son is a chef at a local care home. It is important for them to get back to their roots where they have close friends who can support them in troubled health.
John is keen to be at a selling advantage when offering the home on the market.
He wants to be able to provide proof that everything is in good condition and working order.That’s why he approached Park Home Chassis Services (PHCS) to have its ‘Service for a Newer Home’. (This is applicable only to homes ten years and younger.)
The home is only seven years old and, while nothing structurally under the home was of concern, John was aware of some creaks and groans and felt the underside needed looking at.
The PHCS service was the ideal solution. Exactly as one would have the boiler serviced, PHCS offers to service under the home for homes under ten years old.
‘It was an exceptional service,’ explained John.‘I was delighted with the engineer; he was amenable, personable and capable.’
The service involved having everything checked. All the coachbolts were tightened and supports were re-tensioned, while vents were cleared and pipework was checked.
The service also includes a written report of the condition of the home and a service certificate. John said:‘PHCS is to be congratulated. I didn’t know what was going on under the home and now I know all is well. Peace of mind is worth every penny. I also have written confirmation to show any prospective buyer.’
John continues to enjoy the arts. He continues with his writing and is still very enthusiastic about photography. He also avidly paints seascapes and landscapes inspired by the Hampshire coast and countryside. It is time for the family to return to their roots and to be among familiar places and friends. It will be sad giving up their lovely park home but I’m sure a similar home on a lovely site beckons for them in the south.