“It’s the perfect place for a new start.”
David and Teresa Baverstock have lived in rambling detached homes ‘in the middle of nowhere’. They’ve also enjoyed ultra modern living in a Far Eastern apartment block under endless blue skies.
Now they’re living in an historic two bedroom apartment, rumoured to have been a Reverend Mother’s home. And, according to Mrs Baverstock: “It’s turned out better than we ever envisaged.”
The couple live at The Priory, a retirement village celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. As its name suggests, the site on the outskirts of Abbotskerswell, was originally home to an order of nuns. It is now owned by national operator Retirement Villages Ltd.
After selling their import business, the Baverstocks moved to Penang, in the Far East. Seven years later, they decided to buy a home back in the UK.
“We wanted a home we could visit but lock up and leave while we were abroad,” said Mrs Baverstock. “We’ve lived in the Devon area for 38 years and our family are here so that’s where we started looking.”
The couple knew nothing about retirement communities but found The Priory on the internet. Their daughter visited the third floor apartment and insisted it was perfect.
“We’re in the old Priory building so are surrounded by original features,” said Mr Baverstock. “We have the bell tower outside our door and, apparently, live in the Reverend Mother’s old home.”
For four years, Mr Baverstock, who’s 70 and his 68 year old wife, only spent a few months each year at The Priory, but enjoyed the security of knowing while they were abroad their apartment was being looked after.
Then, 18 months ago, they decided to make the wholesale move back to the UK. That’s when they really began to get involved in village life.
Mrs Baverstock is now secretary of the residents association and involved with the gardening club. The couple enjoy ballroom and Latin dancing at groups in the local area and, while he still works part time in a consultancy capacity, Mr Baverstock also finds time to play golf.
And their four children and seven grandchildren keep them busy.
“We have plenty of visitors and every one of them has been blown away by this place,” said Mrs Baverstock. “It’s the perfect place for a new start. You can’t help but make friends, it happens automatically.”
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