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After residing in Essex all their lives and living in the same house for 42 years, Marion and Ivor Shipley decided to embark on a new adventure and move out of their comfort zones into the area of Oxfordshire to start a new and exciting chapter.
Originally seeing Richmond Villages Letcombe Regis in a magazine, the retirement village immediately caught their eyes for the change they were craving. Having done extensive research, the couple finally decided to move to the village into one of the independent living suites, with the appeal being that it offered them their own privacy but access to all the health and social facilities for the active lifestyle they were craving – including a swimming pool – which they deemed a must.
Since moving, the couple have exclaimed that they, “wished we’d done it sooner,” finding a host of new friends and communities to join since moving to the village.
Marion, aged 77, is a retired manager for Essex Libraries, while Ivor, aged 82, previously worked in the printing industry as a computer typesetting technician, as well as serving in the army as part of the Royal Fusiliers under the City of London regiment. The couple have been together 56 years, with their passion for fitness and adventure being a keen shared interest.
However, fitness hasn’t always been a passion for the couple. Ivor and Marion highlighted that raising their three sons and work was the priority throughout the early years together while fitness and adventure is something that they have both come to adore more recently. With Ivor participating in competitive swimming while serving under the Royal Fusiliers against the Royal Navy and army when stationed in Malta, it’s no wonder that swimming became one of their favourite activities.
Since moving to the village, the couple regularly take leisurely swims in the state-of-art wellness spa, frequent exercise sessions with personal trainers in the gym, and lengthy walks across the ancient Ridgeway, running from Buckingham to Avebury. In addition, the couple have also participated in table tennis since joining the village, even looking to join the Letcombe Regis Village Hall Community Table Tennis group.
When asked about their favourite thing about fitness, Marion and Ivor said: “The way it makes us feel. Exercising regularly helps us both to feel reenergised and revitalized. It is very much part of our daily routine and something we look to incorporate into our daily lives. It’s also a bonding experience for us. We enjoy doing everything together, so the host of activities on offer at Richmond Villages Letcombe Regis was extremely appealing to us when we made the transition from our long-term home in Essex.”
The couple also acknowledge that the village has given them the tools to become the most adventurous versions of themselves to date. Thanks to the host of extensive health and safety features, supportive community, and domiciliary and care home support systems, Richmond Villages Letcombe Regis gives themselves and their family complete peace of mind when it comes to their safety. Furthermore, the couple also praise how everything in their apartment has been built with their age group in mind, noting that it’s much safer than their previous home in Essex.
Marion and Ivor state that: “You can be a bit braver here than you would normally be as your surroundings are made safer for you, giving you one less thing to worry about. Before moving to the village, there were always activities we wanted to participate in, however we weren’t able to do so as we didn’t feel we had the right support, or that we were in a safe enough position.”
Looking to the future, the couple are wanting to take up dance as their next adventure, much to the excitement of Marion: “If I were to give advice to anyone looking for motivation to take up new hobbies, I would urge them to just try it three times. You need to give new activities a proper chance as it can sometimes be daunting at first. After the third time, you will know whether it’s something you wish to pursue in the long run.”