Originally exhibited at the Ideal Home Exhibition, the park home in question has since become the ideal dwelling for Bobbie and Terry Abbott,of Turners Hill Park, in West Sussex. We find out why…
Bobbie and Terry have been together since their early twenties. It all started when Bobbie had an evening job as an usherette in the cinema in Maldon. She showed Terry to his seat, he bought an ice cream from her in the interval and that was the start of the romance!
Bobbie grew up in Streatham, South London. Her parents were both talented entertainers: her mother a semi-professional singer; and her father a professional musician, playing the saxophone, clarinet, flute and piccolo. He travelled the world with many famous names, including Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck. Bobbie didn’t share show biz aspirations and was more motivated to be a normal working girl earning her own money when she reached 16.
Terry grew up in Carshalton, Surrey. Always keen to see how things worked, he has an engineering passion to take things apart, and he had a childhood love of wildlife that has continued through to today.
It’s funny how values and acceptances change over the years. Bobbie and Terry decided to rent a basement flat together after courting for a couple of years. So taboo was it to ‘live together in sin’ that they bought a make believe wedding ring from Woolworths so the landlord approved of them, while Terry’s mother refused to talk to them for six months until the day they announced a wedding date!
Bobbie and Terry married in 1972 and shortly after bought their first property – a converted flat – for £8000.They didn’t have children and so both of them worked from the age of 16 to retirement. Over the years they bought several properties eventually achieving their ambition to buy a brand new property with a front and rear garden!
They are both fun loving and active people. With easy access to London they have always taken advantage of visiting museums, the theatre and cinema.They both belong toa gun club and have their firearms certificate – in saying that, Bobbie admits it’s normally 20 minutes shooting and two hours socialising!
When plans come together!
Two years before Bobbie reached 60 (and retirement age) Terry had a mild stroke, enough to give them a wake-up call.
Retirement plans were put into action.They looked at various park sites but eventually found Turners Hill Park on recommendation from friends.
They found their ‘ideal’ home and with absolute precision planning, they sold their house, both retired on the Friday and moved into the park home on the Monday! That was eight years ago now.
After 44 years of continuous working you may wonder how Bobbie and Terry would take to retirement and park home living.
Answer – like ducks to water! They love it!
As good as new
Turners Hill Park is a peaceful site with a shop and clubhouse. They relish the social aspect and community spirit. There is entertainment every month at the club house and the park has its own resident band called Park Sounds.
The park home is nearly 30 years old and, over the years, changes have been made so that today the home looks nearly new. That’s thanks to various cosmetic improvements made over the years plus a fabulous renovation project by Prestige Developments. Prestige transformed the home by replacing the roof, guttering, windows, doors, and replaced all four external walls with cavity walls which have been textured and painted.
Bobbie said, ‘We are really pleased. So many people comment on how good the home looks.’
Peace of mind
Bobbie and Terry had never checked the underneath of the home. With any renovation work and changes in weight it is always important to check the chassis and supporting function. Also, at 30 years old, there’s a strong chance of rust corrosion which will weaken the stability of the home.
Bobbie said,‘Park Home Chassis Services has put our minds totally at rest! ‘The company refurbished the chassis and have re-supported the home with its certified PHCS HD supports. ‘We have confidence now that the underside of the home is in the best condition and it feels so much more stable.’ PHCS also installed its PHCS SnuggerFLOOR underfloor insulation system. Bobbie explained, ‘It’s really noticeable in the mornings when we walk across the floors, in, that is job done on the home. For some that may have left a big hole as to how to fill their time, but for Bobbie and Terry it frees up time to do even more of what they love doing.
Bobbie attends aqua aerobic lessons, a book club and line dancing that’s held at the park’s clubhouse. They are 20 minutes from Brighton for day trips out and they take full advantage of a local coach company which transports them to all different events such as ice skating shows, theatre and, next week, greyhound racing.
Among everything else, they have booked a holiday titled the Cotswold Blossom Trail, a Viking river cruise to Normandy where they will visit WWII sites and a Warner’s break to enjoy a Status Quo and Tina Turner tribute rock weekend.