Eddie and Mabel Griffiths love walking in the great outdoors. They wanted less hilly terrain to explore, a beautiful view, lovely gardens and more free time to enjoy them all.
The couple were no strangers to The Bridges in Macclesfield. They watched with interest as it was being built and could see the crane from their family home.
Originally from North Wales, Eddie and Mabel moved to Cheadle Hulme with their young family in 1970. They spent a couple of years there before settling in their family home in Rainow in 1972, where they lived for 47 years, raising their three daughters and exploring the local countryside with their dogs.
Mabel explained: “We’ve always had dogs. The last one, he came from Windy Way, the rescue centre. We had him when he was tiny and we had him for 17 and a half years.
Eddie added: “He was a lovely dog. We used to go out walking with him every day, so 17 and a half years qualifies for a lot of walking miles.”
Their love of walking was one of the reasons they chose to move.
“With the hills where we were living, I couldn’t walk as much as I wanted to. I can keep going on the flat, but not on the hills” says Mabel.
“Since we moved here, we can walk straight out onto the canal footpath and it’s flat. We walked to one of our daughters’ houses the other day. It took us about 25 minutes along the canal towards Bollington. Two of our daughters are just a few minutes’ walk away and it’s nice that we can walk to them or they can come to us.”
Eddie added: “We can see them coming along the canal from our apartment. We’re going to walk to Sutton Hall soon too. Being by the canal gives us a beautiful view and it serves a purpose – to enjoy walks without the hills. That was a major feature that appealed to us. Another reason was the view from here. We had a view of the hills in Rainow and we’ve got a lovely view here too.”
Mabel and their daughters were the main instigators of the move.
“It happened when Claire, one of our daughters came here to have a look for her father-in-law. She just happened to say ‘it would be lovely for you and Dad, Mum’. After that, Eddie and I were out one day and he just said shall we go and have a look at them? And that’s how it came about. The girls were all very supportive and said that it would be the right move. And then we saw this one with the view.
“The garden’s beautiful too. We had a lovely garden and I will miss it, but I also knew that when this year came, I probably couldn’t go on doing it.
“We’ve already got one flower pot on the balcony and there’s another coming at the weekend.”
It wasn’t just the beautifully maintained garden that appealed to Eddie and Mabel. They looked forward to spending a bit less time and energy on house maintenance too.
Eddie explained: “Once we decided, we realised the benefits of not maintaining a house because I’ve spent my life maintaining everything. We’ve always been DIY people and once we’d taken the dog for a walk, we’d set about doing a job.”
Mabel added: “Eddie’s installed heating in houses and all sorts of things but we just can’t do that now. He’s not allowed up ladders!
“Since we moved in, we’ve enjoyed buying a bit more modern furniture for our apartment. We’ve always been very traditional in the past, so it’s been nice to change our style.”
Eddie said: “We’ve quite enjoyed buying new stuff. Our storeroom here’s great too. I had the idea of getting a super unit from Halfords. It’s like my tool shop. I’ve got tools in there that the handyman hasn’t got! I loaded it up with things I fancied taking with me, because I had a lot of tools. I’ve also got my radio control aeroplanes and drone in there.”
Having spent his national service as a flight mechanic, working with Brigand Torpedo Bombers, Eddie is a long-time member of the High Peak Model Aero Club, building and flying model aircraft at a site to the south of Buxton.
“There’s a couple of jet engine aircraft there. The site is just big enough for them to take off and there’s quite a lot of drone racing that goes on there now. I’ve got a big drone with a Go Pro camera and I can fly and view the High Edge Raceway with that and take photographs, although I’m starting to wind down my flying a bit now.”
Having only moved into The Bridges in January, Eddie and Mabel have already been entertaining in their new home.
Mabel said: “All our daughters and son-in-laws have been to visit and we have four grandchildren now. Two are in their last year of university, one’s doing a mechanical engineering apprenticeship and one’s about to take her A Levels and they all come here as well.
“We’ve eaten in the restaurant several times, either when we’ve had people over for lunch or just the two of us. We’ve had our old neighbours over for lunch and we’ve got two friends coming over for coffee this afternoon. We’ve had a couple of drinks with our nextdoor neighbours too. Everyone here is very friendly and very nice.
“I feel like a lady of leisure really – being waited on and not having to do a lot. We’ve got so much more leisure time to do what we want to do.”