Why buy when you can rent

Testimonials

“It's lovely not having to worry about paying the bills or doing any housework. I came here and it's all provided for me, I have not got to worry about getting to the shops - although I could go every morning (on the private coach) if I wanted to. The only thing I have to pay is my private telephone bill.”

Braintree Resident


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  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns

Retire With Style at The Hawthorns

Marjorie and Bob Tricker - residents at The Hawthorns, Eastbourne Marjorie Tricker and her husband Bob have been living at The Hawthorns in Eastbourne since last October.

As you walk into The Hawthorns you could be forgiven for thinking you had stepped into an exclusive hotel. So you can understand why the catchline 'retire with style' is so adapt when talking about this purpose built facility in Carew Road, Eastbourne.

Originally founded by Bill Colson in the USA more than 30 years ago, the concept behind The Hawthorns is of a luxury, apartment-style retirement community.

One couple who live in one of the large two bedroom apartments on site is Marjorie and Bob Tricker.

The pair lived in Horsham before moving to The Hawthorns in Eastbourne back in October last year after 81-year-old Marjorie had an accident.

"I fractured a vertebrae and could not do the cooking or run the home," explains Marjorie.

Realising the pair needed a helping hand, Bob remembered how a friend of his had moved to The Hawthorns in Clevedon, Somerset.

"We had visited him several times over the years," says 82-year-old Bob.

In fact two years beforehand, the couple, who have been married for 25 years, visited the Eastbourne site but decided they were not quite willing to leave their Horsham home.

However, with Marjorie's accident and her reduced mobility this was the perfect solution.

Able to bring choice bits of furniture and possessions, the pair have made the apartment a home from home.

As Marjorie shows me around her new home I am impressed with how well thought out everything is.

As you enter the flat there is a small kitchenette where the couple can enjoy a cup of tea and enjoy an evening snack.

This then leads to a light and airy large lounge, two bedrooms – one with an en-suite – and a large bathroom off the hallway.

"We really did feel like we were on holiday at first," confides Marjorie, whose passion is all things art and craft.

This could be because everything is included in the price – just like an all inclusive hotel. This includes all the activities, from day trips to gardens to games in the lounge, plus access to The Hawthorns buss into town.

With Marjorie's son in Hove and another child just outside Dorking, as well as Bob's son in Switzerland, Eastbourne seemed 'as good a place as any'.

Bob Tricker in his apartment at The Hawthorns, Eastbourne Harry Mason, another Hawthorns resident is a former head teacher

"Our families are all very pleased to see how comfortable we are," says gardening enthusiast Bob.

And with The Hawthorns able to sort out the entire move, the whole experience has been a smooth journey.

This positive experience is repeated by Harry Mason, who lives on the ground floor in a two bed apartment.

A former head teacher, the resident from Weston-super-Mare moved to Eastbourne following his wife Lilian's death.

"I have been coming to Eastbourne for about 50 years," the 90-year-old shares with me. "We loved to come at Easter."

A keen sailor and car enthusiast, Harry has managed to fill his apartment with numerous pictures from throughout his life.

These include school photos from his headships, many pictures of his late wife, alongside pictures of his boats and cars.

He also brought his piano to The Hawthorns as well as a portrait of him drawn by a former colleague.

As I chat to Harry it is clear he is loving living here, making a big effort to become involved in the community and in particular with The Rotary.

However, he does have one regret.

"My only regret, " he tells me, " is that I did not manage to get my wife into a place like this.

"One Hawthorns is near to Weston-super-Mare and several times we agreed to go and chose a room and put a deposit down but my wife could not face the move.

"We checked this place out ten years ago and got it all fixed up and then she would not come."

As I say goodbye to Harry and make my way out I walk past a group of friends chatting in the lounge, one woman walking into the hair salon and a minibus of residents heading out for the day.

This really is a luxury home away from home and as the holiday feeling descends on me I leave with a spring in my step as I set out into sunny Eastbourne.

By Alex Jenkins. Pictures by Stephen Curtis. Reproduced with the kind permission of Etc Magazine, East Sussex Edition. http://etcmag.net