Downsizing to a CityNigel Morris and his wife Janice have always enjoyed a full and active lifestyle. However as Nigel approached his 80th birthday, and the stairs and garden of their existing home began to become onerous for the couple, they made the decision to downsize, setting out on a search for the perfect new home that would enable them to continue enjoying all the things they loved during their retirement.
Although originally from Liverpool, Mr Morris’ career as an export manager for an engineering firm brought him to the Midlands in 1966, and just a few years later he met Janice. Two daughters, two businesses and many wonderful years later, they made the decision to downsize from their beloved five-bedroom family home in Tamworth that they’d lived in for 38 years.
It was a big decision for the couple, so it was important that they moved for nothing short of the perfect property. After 18 months of searching, Nigel and Janice, along with the help of their daughter, found the ideal new home at McCarthy and Stone’s Scott Place in Litchfield.
Nigel explains: “We had viewed many different options, but nothing was really what we were looking for; sometimes the specification wasn’t right, sometimes it was the location that didn’t hit the spot and occasionally the price. As soon as we saw the plans for Scott Place, we knew it was right for us.
“Not only does it face the Lichfield Cathedral, but it’s not even 100 yards from the Market Place, as well as a host of markets, supermarkets, shops, banks and the library. We have access to a range of wonderful local butcheries, bakeries and greengrocers. There’s even a playground within walking distance, which is perfect for when our two grandsons come to visit. We couldn’t have chosen a better spot.
“We were comfortable buying off-plan as we had friends who had moved to similar developments, who spoke highly of the service and quality of the apartments. We also arranged a visit to a recently completed McCarthy and Stone development a few miles away for added peace of mind.
“We chose a lovely two-bedroom apartment overlooking the Cathedral and Stowe Pool, an ancient reservoir with a ¾ mile path round it. When one of our daughters first visited our new apartment for the first time, she even commented ‘Dad, you’ve made your new home a mini version of your old home’!
“McCarthy and Stone managed the sale of our house and removal process for us, so everything ran very efficiently. The move couldn’t have gone better. The welcome basket, with essential items like tea and toilet roll was a nice touch too.
“One of the biggest advantages of Scott Place for us is the community feel and social side. You can’t help seeing people as you go about your daily business, so you never feel isolated. During our time here we’ve enjoyed some excellent parties and gatherings.
“There are three experienced thespians living at Scott Place, who worked with a number of us to create some light-hearted entertainment for our Christmas party, including a four-minute sketch of Cinderella in a Black Country accent. This was followed by a New Year party, which went on until 2 am! There are also groups who get together to do jigsaw puzzles, yoga, handicrafts and gardening. I never thought at the ripe old age of 81, I would meet so many new people!
“We also thoroughly enjoy the cultural life that the City of Lichfield has to offer. From the Cathedral’s inspiring services and fantastic musical events, to the St. Mary’s hub over at the library, which offers classical recitals, comedians, jazz evenings and other entertainments. We’re just a five-minute walk from the Garrick Theatre too, which presents a host of brilliant pantos, plays, comedians and live streaming from Covent Garden and the RSC. There are even trains into Birmingham every fifteen minutes during the day so we can easily go to concerts at the Symphony Hall and the wonderful CBSO.
“Although opportunities for socialising have been limited over the past few months, there has been no better place to be. The house manager, Julie, has made sure that the public areas are spotless and we have been enjoying some safe socialising in the gardens. We even managed to safely celebrate one of the 70th birthday of one of the homeowner’s out there.
“The area near Scott Place is also very open and safe for walking. There is Stowe Pool, the cathedral and Beacon Park, which has seventy acres of gardens, pools, playgrounds, golf course and football pitches to walk around. This has meant we are able to enjoy fresh air even in the current circumstances.”
Mr Morris is also a keen writer and lockdown has given him the opportunity to finalise some historical booklets he has been working on. He hopes to tackle his biography next, to give his grandchildren an insight into everything he’s experienced during his lifetime.
“We’re really enjoying our new home at Scott Place. For London centric readers it is like having Fortnum and Mason, Hyde Park and the Serpentine, Harley Street, The Wigmore Hall, Westminster Abbey and theatre land all within walking distance! We would certainly encourage anyone looking to downsize to consider the welcoming communities McCarthy and Stone has to offer here in the heart of Lichfield.”