John and Marcia Braithwaite had been looking for a bungalow until they heard about The Cottons. They quickly decided the beautiful apartments, stunning gardens and friendly community were just what they were looking for.
“We met when I was playing bowls in a park and Marcia was with her friends,” said John.
“I was 24 and Marcia was 20 when we got married and we lived in our house in Haslingden in the Rossendale Valley for 57 years, from the day we were married in 1963 until we came to the Cottons in March 2020.”
“Marcia has trouble with her hip and we had two flights of stairs in our previous house so we decided to have a look around for a bungalow. It was actually one of our sons who told us about The Cottons. As soon as they started selling, we visited, put our name and a deposit down and now we’re here!
“It was a big job sorting through 57 years’ worth of everything. We gave some furniture away to one of my brothers and we gave a lot of books and clothes and things to the charity shops.
“We thought we wouldn’t have very much room but we got a surprise when we got here because there was plenty of space. The apartment is really big, there’s a good storage room and there’s a decent wardrobe. We’re very happy with it.”
John and Marcia have already been making the most of the gardens too.
“We enjoy gardening. John has a small allotment in the gardens here and has managed to grow some carrots, potatoes and beetroot. We have two pots on our patio and we’ve just put some new bulbs in them so we’re waiting for them to come through now. We also have a garden on either side of our patio that’s our own, and then the main Adlington gardens are beautiful. They’re well looked after. The gardeners come and tend to them and we have a lawn, quite a large one, in front of us and they come every two to three weeks and cut the grass.
Marcia particularly enjoys the beautiful view from their apartment.
“In July, I had to have a cataract operation and the day after I looked out of the patio doors and the view was amazing, to see all the colours, it was wonderful. It’s terrific, it really is.”
And John’s enjoying the freedom of not having to worry about maintenance.
“It’s been a big relief not having to worry about doing jobs. We’ve had one or two jobs that needed doing and we have a very good handyman here and we get a lot of help. It’s a great relief to know that I have no external repairs and very little decorating, if any, to do.”
There’s also the benefit of not having to worry about your property if you go away on holiday.
Marcia explained: “We went for a week’s holiday to Ambleside in September and we didn’t even have to think about the security of our home.”
Since moving to The Cottons, John and Marcia have enjoyed getting to know their neighbours.
“We’ve got to know almost all of them. They’re all very nice people. There’s one lady from Coventry and one from Barnsley in Yorkshire and then many of them are local people.
“There were about 10 of us here at the start of the UK lockdown who all got to know each other very well. We used to go and sit in the sun, because the first three months we had beautiful weather, the sun shone every day and so we’d see each other walking around and sitting in the gardens. We got to know each other very well and we’ve stayed very good friends. Now we meet newcomers in the dining room and we have a right good chat over our dinner.”
When John and Marcia first moved in, the UK lockdown meant that the table-service restaurant at The Cottons was temporarily closed, so the catering team created delicious, cooked meals and delivered them to Homeowners’ apartments. Now, the restaurant has reopened for exclusive use by Homeowners until it is safe for them to invite outside guests to join them again.
“It’s much better here than it would have been in our previous home in lockdown. We have these beautiful gardens to walk around and to admire. We’re very happy here.”
“We’ve been to one or two parks and other than that we walk around the locality. There’s a nice little walk from here through a field and we can see the train going past so we have a nice walk to do.”
John and Marcia have appreciated having the help and support of the staff since they moved in.
“Every one of them. They’re always saying ‘is there anything you need? anything we can do?’ They’re very helpful. They brought a few things in for us and helped with shopping during the lockdown and they set up a pop-up shop.
“We’re very handy for the shops here anyway. We only have a hundred yards to walk and we’re there in the shopping centre. It’s very convenient.”
Community was important to John and Marcia when they were looking to move.
“We wanted to know what sort of community we would come to. We found out about Adlington and what activities went on in the developments and we actually went and had a look at some other developments too but we preferred Adlington. We know they’re the best now! Everything’s good here.
“The Homeowners’ Lounge is open with safe distancing and we’ve been in a few times. The hair salon’s good too.” John has had a haircut and Marcia’s had two hair dos. “It’s much better than having to go out to the barbers.”
“We’re looking forward to joining the gardening club. We also get Adlington’s weekly magazine with quizzes and crosswords in it. Marcia enjoys doing that. I do a lot of reading and I do jigsaws.”
Marcia summed it up perfectly: “Our two sons think we have made the right move. I actually love it. I feel like I’m on my holidays!”