Arthur brings McCarthy Stone retirement development in Southampton together
It’s been a challenging time for us all over the last 20 months, but one local man from Shirley, Southampton, Arthur Hewitt, has been determined to bring the local community together again through his creative writing.
Arthur, 86, moved into Hampton Place Retirement Living development in Shirley, Southampton in August 2021 after his wife sadly passed away and he wanted to find a new community. After taking a look around Hampton Place ahead of its official opening, Arthur decided that the development fit the bill perfectly thanks to the thriving and social community it offered.
Arthur became one of the first homeowners to move into the development, and he immediately wanted to try and build on the community spirit at Hampton Place. That’s when he decided to pick up his pen, put his love of creative writing to good use and create ‘The Herald’ newsletter.
Arthur explains: “When I first moved into Hampton Place, I thought it was really important that we come together as a community, particularly after the difficult time we have all experienced over the last few months, and I wanted to play a part in that."
“I decided to create a newsletter and fill it with reports and impressions of events and social activities taking place at Hampton Place, or locally in the area, as I thought this was the best way to start to foster a community spirit. The Herald is intended to be a means of communication for the homeowners; somewhere they can publish news, ideas, concerns, perhaps congratulate a friend on an anniversary or a birthday, or even share a story or a poem with us. Putting pen to paper is something I’ve enjoyed doing in the past, as I have written newsletters for several sports and social clubs, and I wanted to help build stronger connections with the other homeowners at the development.”
However, Arthur hasn’t always had a passion for creative writing. Working in research all his life, Arthur moved from the UK to Africa with his wife, Pat, in 1969 to work as a lecturer at University of Rhodesia, where they lived happily until 1982 with their two daughters, Lorraine and Maria. The Hewitt family decided to come back to the UK when the security situation made the war-torn country untenable. Circumstances meant they landed in England with nothing and had to start again from scratch. Arthur took up position at Hammersmith Hospital and from there was recruited to the post of Manager of the Ferring Research Institute at the University of Southampton Science Park, where he worked until he retired at age 65.
Arthur says: “I always regarded myself as a sort of boffin – certainly not an arty type. However, when I was Chair of Governors at a local school, the Deputy Head, an English Language teacher, often commented on what she called my “easy-read” style of writing. I suppose that encouraged me to become more involved in this ‘social journalism’.”
Arthur has now issued three editions of ‘The Herald’ newsletter since he moved into Hampton Place, and they are definitely something the McCarthy Stone team and homeowners look forward to reading each month.
Arthur adds: “As well as disseminating information I try to make the newsletter entertaining by including a joke from the golf club or some senior humour I’ve spotted online. I also make sure I attend all the fantastic events Hampton Place hosts so I can take some photos and write a little review – you could say I’m a bit of a critic!"
“I do get the McCarthy Stone team and homeowners involved with the newsletters as much as possible, too. Our House Manager, Maxine Hill, has her own page each month to write a personal message for everyone at Hampton Place. Other homeowners sometimes contribute a poem or story too.
“I’m already thinking about the next newsletter and its content, and I can’t wait to get started - it’s just a fantastic feeling to be able to do something positive after a difficult time, and I look forward to creating them for many years to come.”
Hampton Place is an ideal retirement living option for people aged 60 and over. The development features a spacious communal lounge, landscaped gardens, and a convenient guest suite for when friends and family come to stay. Maxine takes care of the smooth-running of the development, while a security entrance system and 24-hour emergency call points provide added peace-of-mind for homeowners.
More than 50 per cent of the apartments are now reserved at Hampton Place, so you are urged to get in touch without delay to avoid disappointment. Prices currently start from £240,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, and from £299,995 for a two-bedroom, for those who want to purchase outright. Rental and part-buy part-rent options are also available.
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