All aboard at Churchill’s Ash Lodge

Owners at Churchill Retirement Living’s Ash Lodge in Walton-on-Thames have been cruising Surrey’s waterways, thanks to one of their neighbours.

72-year old Julian Nowell, who lives at the Lodge on Churchfield Road, is a volunteer for the Wey & Arun Canal Trust. He has lent his time to the organisation for the last eight years, and spends his Saturdays at the Canal Centre in Loxwood, selling tickets for boat trips.

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust is an almost entirely volunteer led charitable trust, which aims to restore the navigable link between the Rivers Wey and Arun, totalling 23 miles, while recreating the direct water link between London and the South Coast. Its work has seen 22 bridges and one aqueduct reconstructed, 11 locks restored, culverts rebuilt and several miles of canal bed cleared and dredged to date. All of the work is carried out by the Trust’s volunteers who meet regularly during the week and at weekends.

Julian wanted to introduce his neighbours at Ash Lodge to the Trust by organising a two-hour boat trip for 20 Owners to enjoy all of the sights the canal has to offer. He said: “The Wey & Arun Canal Trust is a real passion of mine, so it was fantastic to get Owners at Ash Lodge out to see where I spend my weekends. I organised a boat with lunch on board so that they could really take in the beauty that the Canal has to offer, and everyone really enjoyed it.

“The Trust is a voluntary organisation so we rely on donations and ticket sales to raise money for the restoration work. We are currently working on building a brand new slip way in Dunsfold for boats to enter the canal, which we’re hopeful will be opening in September.”

Julian, who has lived locally in Walton-on-Thames for 14 years, moved into his one-bedroom apartment at Ash Lodge after realising he required a property with lift access.

Julian added:

I didn’t want to move out of Walton-on-Thames because everything you need is on offer here, so when I saw Ash Lodge I was really pleased. It’s in a good location in the centre of town, with good buses and train links to central London. I’m very active still so being a ten minute walk from the river too is great. I also regularly go down to the Owners’ Lounge to meet with neighbours, and David the Lodge Manager is very helpful.

The apartments at Ash Lodge boast 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 also benefit from illuminated light switches for added convenience. Owners can enjoy ultimate peace of mind from a fitted camera entry system for the highest level of security and a 24 hour emergency call system.

With less to worry about, Owners have more time to do the things they enjoy, including taking advantage of the host of other benefits on offer such as having family or friends to stay in the development’s well-appointed Guest Suite, enjoying a chat with neighbours in the landscaped gardens, or attending one of the many events, in the Owners’ Lounge.

For further information, please contact Ash Lodge by calling 01932 283 839 or by visiting the show complex, open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Alternatively, please click here

To find out more information about the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, go to