Pamela and Peter Briggs know what to expect from a house move. The couple moved 13 times before settling in Nailsea in their brand new bungalow – but that was 39 years ago.
Despite loving their family home, the couple decided to move once again when they learned about Churchill Retirement Living’s Sapphire Lodge on Christchurch Close.
Mrs Briggs said: “We moved every two to six years when we were younger with Peter’s job. Looking back we would have been better with a caravan! Eventually we settled here and we loved our family home in Nailsea, but it was quite far out and was becoming too much for us. Even though our heads are OK our bodies don’t work like they used to!
“So we started planning for our move as soon as we heard Churchill had planning permission. We followed the build closely and I even won £100 in a competition to name the lodge, which we were thrilled about. Once the apartments became available, we visited the sales office right away and ended up using Churchill’s Home Exchange service, which made our move even quicker and a very smooth process.”
Mr and Mrs Briggs applied all their techniques to their recent move and became the first Owners to move into Sapphire Lodge in May.
She said: “It’s amazing how it all comes back to you. We gave a lot of our furniture to our children and grandchildren. My granddaughter has shabby chic-ed my Welsh dresser and it looks lovely! We sold the house with everything else in it. You learn not to be sentimental about things – I’d prefer to see my family enjoying those items than try and cram them in where they would not fit the rooms.
“We’ve had all new modern furniture – light oak and glass – which suits our new modern apartment. I do love attention to detail and we like the way Churchill fits out the properties. We have got superior fixtures and fittings and although the kitchen is smaller, it's well planned and a lot easier and more efficient to get round and use. I hadn’t planned to do much cooking but I love it – it’s a joy to use!”
And it is not just the catering that has got easier for the Briggs'. Life in general has improved for them both.
Mrs Briggs said: “I am 78 and Peter is 82, and we worried that we were just paying people to do things for us – the garden, the cleaning, and the maintenance. Since we have moved to Sapphire Lodge we don’t have to worry about any of that and it’s a weight off our minds. My husband used to sit there and think ‘I ought to be doing that for myself’ and now it’s not our worry. It’s a relief. Peter’s health has really improved since we moved in in May. Because everything is at our fingertips, he walks to get a paper every day and we pop to the shops and it’s no effort and really good for us too.
“On top of that, we have met a lovely group of people here and we’ve been enjoying the social side with cheese and wine, coffee mornings and garden parties since we’ve moved in. We wish we’d done it sooner actually – but it’s funny you don’t think you’re ready for it and you struggle on, but it’s a huge relief to be here. We love it!”
Sapphire Lodge is a collection of 30 one and two bedroom private, self-contained apartments specially designed for retired Owners, located in the historic town of Nailsea in Somerset. The development has been specially designed with the over 60s in mind, with features such as a video-entry system, lift to all floors, a 24 hour care and support system and a Lodge Manager for complete peace of mind. Communal facilities include an Owners’ Lounge which owners use for socialising and events, communal landscaped gardens and a Guest Suite for visitors.
Nailsea has a thriving and well-maintained town centre, with various amenities nearby including shops, restaurants, supermarket, doctor’s surgery, dentist and post office. There is also a market in the town centre every Tuesday.
There are now just three apartments remaining at Sapphire Lodge, with prices starting from £276,950 for a one bedroom apartment. To find out more about the development, visit the show complex open daily from 10am to 5pm or call 01275 821 364.