Trailblazing for the retirement adventure

For many retirees, the thought process to downsize and make plans for retirement is focused on necessity, but for Brian Howard and his partner of 44 years, Andrew Ellis planning their retirement was focused on the next adventure.

Having lived in their property in Bath for 30 years, the couple in their early 70s, agreed together that, although they were both still in good health with plenty of life ahead of them, rather than wait until they needed to move they wanted to take the bull by the horns and create an exciting next phase. 

Brian says: “Bath is a hilly place and with nearly 50 steps from the road to our front door, my partner, Andrew, and I knew at some point we’d have to move. We’ve never been the kind to wait around for life to take control of us so we set about planning our next adventure.”

Brian and Andrew spent a couple of years looking in Bath for purpose built properties but with the city surrounded by hills, they were struggling to find something that would serve their long term requirements. Then a friend in Salisbury drew their attention to Churchill Retirement Living’s Sarum Lodge.

Brian says: “When we first saw Sarum Lodge, it was barely above foundation level but we just felt it could really work for us. We both liked Salisbury, it’s got its Cathedral and plenty of culture, which we both like, it’s only an hour on the train to Bath, has excellent connections to London and the Lodge is just two minutes away from Market Square.”

Having spent an earlier part of his professional life working on schemes in London to improve transport for disabled people, Brian spent the latter 20 years of his career working for Tripscope, a charity dedicated to providing much needed advice to the same group about getting around not only the country, but the world. He retired from Tripscope as CEO and was awarded an MBE for services to transport for disabled people in 2000. Since his retirement, he has volunteered with a number of other charities, including chairing the board at Pets as Therapy for six years.  

Brian says: Neither Andrew nor I moved to Sarum Lodge to put our slippers on and be inward looking – we wanted to make the move whilst we still had the ability to get out and about and enjoy all that life has to offer. We really see our wonderful new home as our springboard to be able to enjoy the rest of our life outside of it. We’re both members of the University of the Third Age and enjoy our mah-jong group, and I’m planning to volunteer for a local gardening project in the near future.

Brian and Andrew purchased a two bedroom apartment off plan on the third floor at Sarum Lodge and even have a view of the cathedral spire. As the first Owners to move in, they’ve enjoyed watching the Lodge expand and the community grow around them.

Brian says: “The moment Churchill opened for business, we went and saw the plans and knew exactly what apartment we wanted. It’s nice and spacious, with lovely large windows allowing sunlight to flood in, both in the morning and evening. The combination of retaining our independence, whilst having the opportunity to be part of the Lodge community, delivers the best of both worlds for us. It’s lovely to have the choice.”

Brian and Andrew utilised Churchill’s Home Exchange Service complete with removal assistance, downsizing support and further financial incentives.

Brian says: “We opted for the Home Exchange Service with very little hesitation and it took all the stress out of moving. The availability of the Churchill representatives to help us made everything go so smoothly and the advice of our downsizing advisor was worth its weight in gold. As the first Owners to move in, we’ve been so impressed by the care that’s been shown by each and every person here, from the marketing staff to the construction workers. We will be sad to see them go! Our Lodge Manager, Alexandria, will still be here to help us with anything we need though, which has been very useful since day one.” 

The apartments at Sarum Lodge, on Three Swans Chequer, boast spacious rooms throughout, which have been considerately designed with the over 60s in mind. The fully fitted, stylish kitchens include a built in fridge and freezer, hob and an oven, which are located at an easy-reach height. All of the properties benefit from easy-turn lever taps in both the kitchen and bathroom and illuminated light switches for added convenience. Owners also enjoy ultimate peace of mind from a fitted video entry system for the highest level of security and a 24 hour emergency call system.

A Lodge Manager oversees the day-to-day running of the development and Owners can take advantage of the host of other benefits on offer, including having family or friends to stay in the development’s well-appointed Guest Suite, or enjoying a chat with neighbours and attending one of the many events in the Owners’ Lounge.

Set within the city’s historic streets, Sarum Lodge is perfectly placed for the wealth of independent shops, high street stores, restaurants and cafes which Salisbury has to offer. Old George Mall is located just off the High Street and is home to a number of high street names whilst the historic Cross Keys Arcade has an eclectic range of shops and restaurants to explore.

A Charter Market is held in the historic Market Place each Tuesday and Saturday, selling fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, clothing, furniture and homewares. The Salisbury Artisan Market is held on the first Sunday of every month and the city also hosts regular vintage markets, continental markets and a Christmas Market.

For further information on the apartments available at Sarum Lodge, visit the new Show Complex, open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, call 01722 622383 or visit