With a few setbacks along the way Katrina Knight is finally moving in to her first park home on Willowbrook Park in Lancing.
Not only is it Trina’s first park home, it’s the very first home she has bought and owned!
Sometimes people come into park home living for reasons they least expected or wanted to experience but often once ensconced in their new home and park lifestyle they are totally smitten. Trina is no exception.
Trina had grown up in Shoreham by Sea in West Sussex and had always hoped she would return to her grass roots one day. Willowbrook Park in Lancing is therefore just perfect! It is especially special as friends David and Christine Meredith are already living on the park and her brother Mac, and sister-in-law Audrey, live just down the road. In fact they have been great companions and hosts for Trina whilst she’s been waiting to move in to her park home.
A lucky escape!
The purchase of Trina’s park home was not without tribulation. Trina was set on Willowbrook Park and thought she had found just the right home. The price had been negotiated, solicitors appointed and as a last precaution she arranged for the underside of the home to be surveyed.
“I knew the chassis is the main stay of the home and therefore the condition of it very important. On the recommendation of John Roberts, the park manager, I called on Park Home Chassis Services (PHCS) for their expert and trustworthy guidance”
“I was so pleased I had PHCS to explain all the issues under the home. The chassis was so badly rusted and corroded it would have costed thousands of pounds to get it right again!”
It was initially a huge disappointment as Trina had got the whole home, furniture layout mapped out in her mind. However the £190 survey fee was well spent. Trina was extremely pleased she had saved herself a long term money pit and worry.
“PHCS didn’t encourage me to buy the home to commission work, they looked out for my interests only and I walked away from the purchase”
Thumbs up! A favour indeed!
When another home on Willowbrook Park became available Trina’s first call was to PHCS! She was dreading the survey outcome but knew she could trust their feedback. With a huge sigh of relief the underside of the home received a much more glowing report form PHCS. Trina has a fully detailed written report including photographs which explains the condition of all aspects under the home. The supports may need replacing at some time in the future but for now all is well. “PHCS has done me a great favour! I have ended up with a much better home on a much nice plot!”
“To my mind, an underfloor survey by PHCS is well worth it. Whether the outcome is good or bad, you know exactly what you’re dealing with. It can save a fortune longer term”
Until now Katrina had little awareness of park home living. She had left school at fifteen and worked as a machinist for a ladies underwear and nightwear factory. If you were able to sew and keep on the lines of circles and squares they gave you, apprenticeship done! Once those skills were passed the training was ongoing.
Trina met her future husband when she frequented the local Courthope youth club in Portslade. They married when Trina was eighteen and as they were both keen to save, they moved in with Trina’s mother in law and sister in law who fortunately were ready made baby sitters for their bay son when Trina returned to work.
Unfortunately the marriage broke up after ten years and Trina moved back in with her dad and stepmum. For someone who is quite reserved and quiet, remarkably Trina worked at the bingo hall; starting off as a runner, moving on to managing the bar and café, to becoming the main stage caller! Bingo halls always conjure a sense of nostalgia and gaiety amongst friends, and it was that fun and sociable environment that Trina enjoyed.
A short while after, Trina met her long term partner Errol with whom she lived for 30 years. Errol was slightly older than Trina, he worked as a painter and decorator and was hugely popular. They shared a love of gardening, holidays and friends.
They particularly enjoyed holidaying in Turkey with as many as sixteen of them going en masse for many years!
Two particular friends who have played an important and supportive role for many years are Bill and Rita Passiful. Latterly when Trina and Errol didn’t go abroad, they spent enjoyable times at Bill and Rita’s home in Wales.
When Trina met Errol she started working for American Express which lasted for 31 years! Suffice to say this clerical career change was quite faraway from bingo work. Trina thrived in the work at the outset but as with many big corporates the personal and caring touch can be lost in the size of the organisation.
Two years ago Errol became ill and became too poorly to fend for himself. Trina changed to part time hours to enable time to nurse and spend precious time with Errol. The stress and sadness took its toll on Trina.
Very sadly Errol died in March 2016. Trina was left with grief, emptiness and a sense of panic for her future. Just a few months later she was also made redundant which fuelled further financial worry.
When friends count
As demonstration of Errol’s, and Trina’s, popularity over three hundred people attended Errol’s funeral. Phil Keating and Judith, Errol’s brother and his partner, have been especially compassionate and Trina often spends time with them.
Trina stayed in her shared house with Errol for a year but that time soon passed and Trina really was still very unsure of her future plans and possibilities. Where was she to go, what could she afford, what would she do?
Willowbrook Park was the answer! Trina is thrilled to move on to the park. “The site is lovely, is well kept and everyone is so friendly!”
The two bedroomed park home is pleasingly spacious. The plot is perfect for nature loving Trina as it is adjacent to a beautiful brook adorned by swans. Trina cannot wait for the summer months when she can bask in the warmth and savour the views.
It’s a proper home!
This is Trina’s first owned home and it’s a proper one! Trina laughs as she tells of her brother in Kent thinking she had bought a caravan. That’s until he saw the home and then exclaimed ’blimey, it’s really nice! It’s bigger than some flats!’
The home was a little ‘tired’ in some places so she has made a few internal changes such as new carpeting, painting and coving and electrical points. The outside is already in great condition. There may be some other projects to undertake but they can be done as and when needed and when money permits. The beauty is that there is no rush.
The home is easy to maintain with a manageable garden.
Trina is looking forward to getting the garden ornamented with her flowering tubs and statues. It will be a bright and cheery place to be in the summer months.
A bright future
Trina’s purchase of her park home on Willowbrook Park has opened up a new outlook for her. She is safe in her home, with the knowledge and security that it is all hers.
The picturesque location enables Trina to indulge in her love of walking and there’s also a whisper that she might get a bicycle (no excuse as the terrain is nice and flat!) Trina is also able to spend more time with friends and family. Every Sunday is a fun day with her friend Giselle.
But Trina s taking each day as it comes. I think that’s a good plan. That approach often opens us up to new ideas and opportunities that we otherwise wouldn’t consider. Just one plan though…and that’s a well-earned holiday to Croatia in 2018. The rest is a new beginning of a new and exciting future.
In a Nutshell
• Park home living has opened up a new affordable and rewarding life for Trina
• Trina recognised the importance of an underfloor survey by PHCS which saved her from buying a home that would cost her thousands to put right!
• Trina knew she could trust PHCS and valued their guidance and advice. They did her a great favour in finding a better home on a nicer plot!
• PHCS are the specialists for the underside of park homes.
For further information on Park Home Chassis Services Ltd.
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