Harriet says don’t leave it too late to discover a new lifestyle

71-year-old Harriet didn’t really want to downsize, as she didn’t think she’d find anywhere with enough space for all her possessions and paper-based hobbies and interests. However, she has now discovered that a new apartment at Churchill’s St Andrew’s Lodge in Chippenham gives her all the space she needs.

“It’s pretty big for a one bedroom apartment, with a huge bedroom which doubles as a study,” she says. “I have masses of storage space too, a big kitchen and a big bathroom. My apartment faces southwest over our glorious garden, and there is natural light at both ends of my hallway. There’s also a staircase opposite my front door, which is a big plus, so I can take the stairs and rarely need to use the lift and hallways.”

Another benefit of her brand new apartment is that Harriet now spends less time on cleaning and maintenance, meaning more time for her various interests, which include reading (apart from her own well-stocked bookshelves she uses the Chippenham library - excellent and very close to the Lodge), doing circuits in a local gym, researching family history (her own but also helping other people with theirs) plus wider study of related social history issues, playing at interior architecture/design in her new apartment, and improving her Greek.

“Any gardening I do is optional now,” she says. “And there’s not a lot of dust. I still spend a lot of time each year in my little flat in Greece, so – rather than having to leave a key with my very obliging neighbours – I can now rely on our wonderful Lodge Manager.  The other Owners are a good crowd too, with a really wide age range.”

Harriet says she didn’t look at other ‘retirement’ options, but the new Churchill development in Chippenham town centre appealed to her from a very early stage. “The site caught my eye when the first Churchill signs went up,” she says. “I walked past the site most days in 2019 and 2020 when it was under construction, taking a keen interest in its progress. It’s kind of my baby.” 

“I’d encourage anyone who is considering a move to come and visit this and other Churchill developments to get an idea of what’s available in terms of the gardens and communal reception/lounge areas as well as the internal layouts and fittings of the apartments – there was a lot of variety across the half dozen other Churchill Lodges that I investigated.  Think how you could adapt the space to suit your needs, at little or no extra cost. Be realistic about what is ‘essential’ – is it a view of the garden? Of the sunset? Of people passing in the street? Most of all don’t leave it too late to make a move!”

She adds: “I thought it was too soon, and that I didn’t have enough capital. I even filled in the sales feedback card with a ‘not yet’ response. And then overnight, before I posted my card in fact, I realised this was a mistaken attitude based on old unchallenged assumptions.  So I came here, and haven’t looked back since!”