Two retirees from Stevenage, who caught the same bus into the town centre for the past 50 years, have struck up a new friendship after becoming neighbours.
83-year old Doreen Smith and 74-year old Marion Friend have both moved into Churchill Retirement Living’s Astonia Lodge on Pound Avenue after deciding it was the right time to downsize.
Marion said: “Doreen and I used to live around the corner from each other and caught the same bus into town. We always used to say hello but didn’t know each other very well, so it was a lovely surprise to see a familiar face here at the Lodge when I moved in.”
Marion moved into the Lodge two months ago after deciding that her three bedroom home had become too big to maintain by herself.
She added: “My husband died four years ago and I was in need of a fresh start. I had lived in my home for fifty four years, but I wanted to be somewhere that was easier to maintain and where I felt less alone. I have settled in very well to Astonia Lodge and have plenty of time to enjoy other interests such as papercrafts and photography, without having to worry if something around the house needs fixing.”
Doreen said: “I had seen Marion out and about for so many years, that it’s wonderful to be able to get to know her better now that we’re neighbours. We are both widowed and have bonded over that - it’s nice to know someone who is in a similar situation to you. I hadn’t really considered moving until I saw an advert for the Lodge one day when I was on the bus. I realised that my husband and son used to enjoy playing snooker in the building that was previously on the site and thought that was a lovely connection.
“I had lived in my home for almost 53 years, my daughter was even born there, so my children were shocked when I told them that I was moving. I decided that downsizing was the right thing to do as I didn’t want the responsibility of looking after a big house on my own anymore. It was definitely the best move that I could have made, I am so happy here and we have a lovely community growing.”
Astonia Lodge is a collection of 38 purpose-built, privately-owned, retirement apartments for the over 60s. Each of the apartments have spacious rooms throughout and are an ideal combination of design and functionality. The fully fitted, stylish kitchens include a built in fridge and freezer, hob and an oven, which is located at an easy-reach height.
All of the properties benefit from illuminated light switches for added convenience. Owners also enjoy ultimate peace of mind from a fitted camera entry system, for the highest level of security, a 24 hour emergency call system and a Lodge Manager.
Communal facilities include an Owners’ Lounge with a coffee bar, which Owners use for socialising and events, communal landscaped gardens, Guest Suite and Wellbeing Suite, providing hairdressing, beauty and treatment facilities within the Lodge.
Stevenage has a thriving and well-maintained town centre, with various amenities nearby including shops, restaurants, supermarket, doctor’s surgery, dentist and post office.
The show complex at Astonia Lodge is open daily, where 50% of the apartments have already been sold. To arrange a viewing or for further information, please call 01438 518 182.