Jim and Rosemary Seagrave moved to Three Arches Park in Redhill, Surrey, eighteen years ago and instantly fell in love with park home life!
Throughout life there are always challenges thrown ones way, but there are also times of happiness and reward. Often there are also things that happen that just seem as if they were ‘meant to be’… Jim and Rosemary have had quite a lot of that in their lives!
Jim and Rosemary have been married for nearly 50 years and share a close and devoted relationship. Both Jim and Rosemary had previously been married in their early twenties and each had two children from the relationships. At the time, coincidentally, Jim and Rosemary lived only a few doors away in the same street in Horley and although Rosemary was friends with Jim’s then wife, Anne, Rosemary and Jim had not been acquainted. Jim had later moved away and during that time Anne had fallen ill and sadly passed away. Rosemary had since split up with her husband.
As if by fate
It was a chance meeting when picking up their children from playschool one day that Jim spoke to Rosemary and explained Anne’s fate. The next chance meeting was when Jim saved Rosemary from standing in the rain at a bus stop by offering her a lift home. Rosemary suggested Jim attend a gathering for divorcees but decided she liked him and perhaps should keep hold of him! Fortunately the feeling was mutual and as if it was ‘meant to be’, they were shortly living together and happily married. The four children were all young and grew up as close siblings – naturally they had the normal everyday squabbles but when it counted they were a tight ship and stuck together!
Now Jim and Rosemary delight in their eleven grandchildren and four great grandchildren, with one more on its way.
When bringing up the children, Jim and Rosemary lived in a four bedroomed council house in Redhill. Rosemary hand her hands full bringing up the children and Jim worked hard in various jobs. He worked for Ford as a test driver, driving vans, taxiing – he was never out of work! It was a struggle at times but they were a happy family and shared fun camping holidays in Dorset and Devon. They later progressed to caravan holidays – may be this gave them the taste for mobile homes! Visits to Dorset and Devon remain firm favourites for Jim and Rosemary still today.
Toil and trouble
The family lived in the same house for sixteen years until the children left home, after which Jim and Rosemary moved to a maisonette near Redhill town centre. At the time it was a pleasant place to live but over the years the location became more heavily populated and lost some of its attraction. Despite in later life, Jim and Rosemary decided to take out a mortgage and purchase the maisonette from the council. Whilst recognising this was a good financial decision, it also put a huge financial strain on them. Jim, never shy of work, was doing three jobs at one point; cleaning in the mornings, engineering during the day and taxi work by the evening! Likewise, Rosemary was caring for the elderly full time, often undertaking thirteen hour shifts.
In between all that however, Jim and Rosemary enjoyed many memorable and special times with the grandchildren staying over and meeting long term friends at the local social club, often attending the Saturday night dance.
Trunks of trophies
It’s fair to say Jim and Rosemary are both ‘go get’ and positive people. Jim has always been a keen sportsman and modestly mentions that he played both football and golf at county level. So successful at golf, he was encouraged to obtain his PGA (Professional Golf Association) license and is now a qualified coach. As a result, Jim has helped out at various golf academies and in schools twice a week. Jim has also coached their grandson, Elliott, to a very high standard who has won many junior competitions.
Rosemary was a successful team dart player and also had trophies galore. They both take great pleasure in rambling in the open countryside.
Doors opening at the right time
In May 1999, Jim and Rosemary visited some friends who had just purchased a park home on Three Arches Park. That was it! Jim was totally smitten, Rosemary a little apprehensive at first, but they put the maisonette on the market which sold immediately and within a month a park home became available at Three Arches Park. It was meant to be! By August 1999, Jim and Rosemary were moved in!
Jim and Rosemary instantly fell in love with the park’s quiet atmosphere, with the twenty four park homes scattered to create a sense of space whilst still affording a homely and comfortable environment. They enthuse about their neighbours – everybody knows everybody! This offers a sense of security and reassurance, but everyone also respects each other’s privacy.
What’s more, the move has provided Jim and Rosemary financial freedom! The noose of a mortgage and the thought of paying it off up to their seventies has now been relinquished.
The site is a couple of miles from town, has a bus stop directly outside and is walking distance from East Surrey hospital. Opportunity to ramble is ample with common land and lakes nearby.
A home for life
Jim and Rosemary’s park home was only six years old when they bought it, but over the last eighteen years they have stripped it out and upgraded it throughout. It is a beautiful two bedroomed home with large Georgian bay windows to the front aspect. Gardening used to be a hobby but less so these days! Jim has created a large tarmac drive for three cars to the side and they now have aromatic and colourful rose beds intermixed with pebbled areas.
Recently Jim and Rosemary have installed a new heating system and changed the bathroom to a shower room. Jim was aware that changes made to the home can impact on the chassis and supporting structure on which the home sits. A neighbour, Mr Bowden, had previously used Park Home Chassis Services (PHCS) for the underside of his home and happily recommended the company. Jim did look at other companies but only felt reassured and confident in Park Home Chassis Services.
The best in the industry
PHCS carried out a survey under the home. “The surveyor was really helpful, discussed things in detail with us and the written report was professionally produced and clear to understand”.
The home is now twenty three years old, and it was very encouraging to hear of the condition and cleanliness underneath considering its age. “We welcomed the honesty of PHCS who explained that it was just the supports under the home that had become rusted and work on the chassis was not necessary for the time being”.
PHCS install their own PHCS HD (hot dip galvanised) supports which are market leaders in strength, design and rust resistance. PHCS offers five different support sizes to accommodate all different park homes and spaces to eliminate the need for supports to be positioned on blocks, maximising effectiveness of power and durability. They are NCC approved and certified.
PHCS replaced all the supports under the home to correct tensions and tightened all the coach bolts to reduce any movement. The vibrations caused by the washing machine have now gone and squeaks in the floor have disappeared.
“Definitely a professional company to deal with! We have every confidence in PHCS and are reassured by their workmanship and credibility… and they are nice people to do business with!”
When Jim and Rosemary first moved to Three Arches Park, they both continued to work. Jim enjoyed a fast promotional track within the Post Office. Starting out as a driver, within years he had progressed to Head Supervisor to Assistant Manager to Depot Manager, where he was awarded ‘Depot of the Year’. Having come to an office role later in life it required a large learning commitment from Jim and he had to learn rapidly at college the various computer and administrative skills. The latter position demanded a lot of meetings, travelling and responsibility and ultimately lots of unwanted stress.
The opportunity to take early retirement at 55 came as a blessing and Jim was quickly snapped up by a friend and business owner who recognised Jim’s strengths to help set up an on-line postal side to the delivery business. Jim worked on a part time basis but finally retired two years ago when Rosemary suffered serious illness.
Rosemary’s recovery and resilience to two life threatening illnesses is evidence of her strength of character and optimism, backed up by Jim’s supportive care. Rosemary has made great steps forward in health already and is still making progressive improvement by the week.
Not ones to sit around!
In fact, Jim and Rosemary have just joined the local gym. It’s a fun, active class for the elderly. It was their first session last week and they may have been slightly over enthusiastic as they were aching like billy-oh the following day!
They enjoy days out together fishing; Rosemary ensconced under shelter with a good book to read and picnic to share! They’ve also joined the National Trust to enjoy the many interesting historic places and gardens.
And the golfing bug is back! Having sold all his golfing equipment a little while back, Jim has got himself a new set of clubs and he’s back swinging the irons with as much zest and skill as ever!
Jim and Rosemary both believe in ‘keep yourself going’. There is certainly no question that they don’t live up to their motto! Their move to park life eighteen years ago has certainly enabled them quality and enjoyment of life… and they are living it to the fullest!
In a Nutshell
- Jim and Rosemary have gained financial freedom since moving to their park home.
- They love the quiet, private element of the site, but love the neighbourly support and friendship.
- Jim and Rosemary employed Park Home Chassis Services (PHCS) as they were a trusted and reputable company
- They happily recommend PHCS as the experts and professionals for the underside of park homes.