Let’s Meet the Neighbours… Introducing Joan Holloway

When Joan Holloway’s daughter told her she had found the “ just the right place” for her new home at Wispers Park, she was proved absolutely right. After six months’ hunting for a property closer to her family and grandchildren near Petersfield, the development being marketed by award-wining Linden Homes at Haslemere was everything 88-year-old Joan had been hoping for.

As well as a beautiful, rural location and excellent facilities,moving to her one-bedroom second-floor apartment also provided the crucial sense of community and friendship that was so important to her.

Wispers Park is exclusively for people aged 60 and over. Set within a 25-acre country park are three collections of one and two-bed apartments – Howard Place, Wycombe House and Wallis Court, plus a dedicated 54-bed care home, Buckton Manor.

The centrepiece is the stunning Oak Hall, a Grade II listed Elizabethan-style building constructed in 1911. Originally built for Scottish landscape and portrait painter, James Coutts Michie, Oak Hall retains many of its original features: mahogany panels, marble floors, heraldic stained glass and extravagant fireplaces, topped with tall brick chimney stacks.

It now houses a traditional country club, to which residents enjoy free membership, and boasts a bistro, events and even a gym. Residents can also call upon the services of a free mini-bus.

Joan, who previously lived in Cobham for seven years, explained: “My daughter, Jane, was helping me look for a new home because I do not walk awfully well these days. My usual thing was to walk into Waitrose but after a few problems I couldn’t do that. “So Jane helped me move somewhere closer. Now I’m nearer her and my grandchildren. In fact, they came round yesterday for a visit.

“When she discovered it Jane said, ‘I have found just the right place for you’. We arrived at Wispers Park, had a look round and we chose my apartment. It has a roof terrace and it’s really very pleasant – I was impressed. It’s very good quality, spacious and finished very nicely.”

The homes are appointed with top quality flooring and granite worktops to reflect the site’s traditional feel, mixed with the latest energy-saving appliances and luxury bathroom fittings. A 10-year NHBC guarantee and two year customer care warranty give peace of mind too.

Before she retired Joan was a part-time air traffic controller. She married an RAF serviceman but is a widow now. Her daughter, Jane, lives at Steep Marsh, near Petersfield, from where she can drive to Joan’s in just over 20 minutes. Joan added: “I was definitely after an apartment. But I also wanted somewhere there were things going on and not just sitting in a flat all day. Here, if you want company you can go and search someone out.

“The people I have met have been lovely. The thing is that they are all quite like-minded and we have a lot in common. We’re hoping to set up various activities like bingo, bridge clubs and we had a go at croquet.

“Yesterday I met a friend and we decided to go and have lunch sitting in the bay window in Oak Hall. The facilities are lovely. You can even have your cleaning done, if you want, or your laundry or ironing – all sorts of different things. Rob the estate manager and Bill the chef do a brilliant job.

“It’s comforting to have the care home, Buckton Manor nearby. You know that you can move there nextdoor if you need to and don’t have to go a long way. That’s one of the things I liked about Wispers Park.

“It’s a delightful place, it really is. It’s going to get better and better as more people move in. To anyone thinking about moving here, I would say give it a go! It’s going to go from good to even better. The clubhouse is wonderful – it’s beautifully decorated and beautifully furnished.”