For David, Bournville Gardens has opened up new opportunities for things to do, including making furniture in the woodwork studio.
So David, what attracted you and your wife to Bournville Gardens?
We both sing in a choir and one of the choir members has got an apartment here. My wife used to go and have coffee with her and one day she said ‘come up and have a look’. It’s very nice, but we weren’t ready to move into an apartment. Then the ExtraCare cottages were advertised. So that did interest us.
We lived in quite a large house and the garden was getting difficult. We thought if we leave it any longer we shall be moved by our children, rather than choosing to do it ourselves. So we moved. And we’ve carried on doing all the things we ever did before. But in addition, we’ve got all these beautiful facilities. So we’ve been very happy here.
So the main reason was to downsize?
To downsize, yes. But, you know, it’s a lifestyle you choose. And looking to the future there may be a stage when we need help. I had a knee replacement five years ago and my wife has had two knee replacements, but we both still play sport.
Talk to me about your lifestyle here.
Well, we’ve got all these facilities. There’s a shop. There’s this workshop. There’s the gym. There’s this art thing. There’s the restaurant. There’s all the other things that go on here.
We play a thing called pickleball on Saturday mornings, which is a cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis. The people that play that are mostly ex-tennis players and quite competitive.
Tom built this bowling alley. We had a bowls evening here, one evening. But we tend not to use it for those sorts of social functions because we’ve got our own social life.
It sounds like you’ve made friends here?
Oh yeah. We lived on a main road before, next door to a dental practice. So they weren’t there in the evenings and at weekends. And you drive out on a dual carriageway, you never see your neighbours. But now, you wander down and you get to know all sorts of people.
Are you happy here?
Very happy. My wife wasn’t keen at all to start with. You know, to leave a nice house didn’t appeal to her at all. But looking to the future, she became convinced and she loves it here now.