Two retirement living residents who have been the ‘pillars of the community’ have marked two decades of living at their sheltered accommodation scheme in Cheshire.
For 17 years, Tom and Mary Newton have regularly organised events and excursions for the enjoyment of other residents at Sanctuary Housing’s Brook Villas, in Alsager.
Prior to moving to the scheme, the couple ran The King’s Head, affectionately known as the Pin Corner in reference to its nine-pin bowling set, before moving to a bungalow for five years and later Brook Villas.
Their decade of event management at The King’s Head has been the perfect background to help them organise weekly activities at Brook Villas, including bingo and raffles, as well as seasonal events like Easter bonnet parades.
During their time at the scheme, they have also organised several trips out a year which have given residents the chance to see shows in Manchester and visit the Blackpool Lights switch on.
Mary said: “We loved the chance to dress up with the parades and everyone used to have such a great time.
“We used to keep a pub, so we’ve always been used to helping people and keeping them entertained.”
After 17 years however, the couple believed the time had come to retire from organising the events.
Tom said: “We’ve made friends here at Brook Villas and we can’t fault it at all. As we started to approach 80, we thought the time had come to relax a bit.”
Tom and Mary, who first met at a dance hall in 1956, have been a team for most of their working lives, ever since Mary first found Tom a job in the pottery factory she worked in, prior to their management of The King’s Head.
After retiring from full-time work, and later from activity planning, the pair are now able to enjoy a calmer pace of life at Brook Villas.