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Latest Event: 15 July 2017 Event info

July Open Day Come and visit us on our second Open Day of this year on Saturday 15th July. Open Days are...

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Terry bartlam

Terry Bartlam shares his memories with The Last Summer Wine – 1973

Vanessa and I moved to The Elms in November 2010 from the moors in the Bronte Country.

In 1973 a new television show written by Roy Clarke was screened, it was titled The Last of the Summer Wine.

My Father watched it in the early days but at that time it was not something that grabbed my interest, it was not until the mid-80’s when I rediscovered the show and fully absorbed by the characters.

Terry and Howard

In 2000 we moved to Yorkshire not far from where the show was filmed and I took every opportunity to track down the filming of the show, which could be within a 20-mile radius of Holmfirth, it was a fantastic time seeing many of the cast in person.

 By 2004 I was well known to the crew and many of the cast allowing me plenty of photo opportunities.One day I was shocked when the director Mr Alan JW Bell asked if I would be a background artist for a brief scene in the village of Meltham, I was so shocked at the chance to be in this show, I had to speak to Mr Bell again to make sure I understood him fully, I had to wait almost a year to see myself in the episode, my part last almost ten seconds.

I appeared in two further episodes including the very last and so did my cars, which managed more airtime than me, I was devastated when the BBC announced the show would be no more, all those wonderful actors now out of work and most of an age that they would not be offered anything else.

I have kept in touch with some of the cast and crew but sadly many of them are no longer with us, I am so pleased I made to effort to track them down when filming, the chance to see so many wonderful actors including, Sir Norman Wisdom, Peter Sallis, Frank Thornton, Kathy Staff, Jean Alexandra, Ken Kitson, Burt Kwouk, Stephen Lewis, to name but a few.

Terry Bartlam and Jean Alexander

On two occasions I attended a dinner event which included many of the cast along with the talented Mr Roy Clarke, what wonderful memories, sitting down to dinner with these superb actors.

In 2002 I started a fan based website, and a few years later added a forum, which has worldwide membership, at the time there were several websites for fans, these days mine is the only one still running , I always welcome new members to the forum, to chat about what is claimed to be the longest-running comedy TV show.

Terry Bartlam – 12 Maple Avenue

elms seasons greetings

Season’s Greetings

We’ve had a lot going on this year, especially with the transformation of Birch Grove. The progress so far looks amazing!

With newly built in bedroom cupboards and brand new kitchen units, the home is really starting to take shape. When the renovations have been completed, this prime park home property will come on the market for sale, so watch this space!

If you’re following us on Facebook, you’d have seen all the latest development photos, if not, click here to view the album.

We’ve got a lot more exciting projects planned for the next year and we can’t wait to share them with you!

So from everyone at the Elms Retirement Park, we’d like to wish you all the warmest greetings for this festive period and we hope you’re looking forward to the new year as much as we are!

elms seasons greetings

See you all in 2018!

Our Retirement Village

We’re proud to announce we’ve been awarded the Silver Accolade!

As some of you are aware, The Elms Retirement Part participates in the annual David Bellamy Award Scheme, which is all about protecting and enhancing our wildlife and environment.

We are very proud to announce that for the 2017/18 period we have been awarded the Silver accolade!

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our residents and people in the community that have supported us throughout the year, and making The Elms Retirement Park a really enjoyable and beautiful place to be in.

David Bellamy Letter Silver Award 2017


Stephen Smart

Stephen Smart – Putting life into words!

My name is Steve Smart and I moved to The Elms in May 2014 from Croydon.

I originally lived in Warwickshire for 20 years, working in the Civil Service before leaving financial security to train at one of the leading drama schools of its time in Birmingham and then moving to London in 1981 to find work as a professional actor.

Fast forward 33 years, I finally decided to leave the capital, retiring with my partner Sharon to rural Lincolnshire and The Elms in May 2014 for a more leisurely pace of life.

I’ve had a varied theatrical career, after training at the Birmingham School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, my first professional paid role (while still at college) was appearing in The Importance of Being Ernest at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre which earned me £5 a performance.

It took me a year to obtain my British Actors Equity Card and I’ve proudly renewed my membership continuously since 1982 until finally retiring in 2016.

Over the years I’ve particularly enjoyed Shakespeare and have been lucky enough to perform both in London and America as well as a memorable tour across Norway (with all its beautiful stunning scenery which is a must visit location) with a production of Macbeth. West End musical credits included playing Che in Evita at The Prince Edward Theatre and Jean de Metz in Jeanne, the story of Joan of Arc at the Sadlers Wells Theatre.

Steve Smart Pantomime

For a time I was involved with the Water Rats Dinner Theatre, appearing in Godspell and Give My Regards to Broadway, before co-founding Bandwagon Productions which went on to produce 6 further musical reviews at the famous London venue.

Steve Smart pantomime

From the late 80’s I got involved in my first pantomime and was hooked, over the years I’ve performed, written, produced and directed pantomimes and from 2000 for the next 16 years appeared as Pantomime Dame every Christmas at theatres around the UK, working with names such as: Nigel Pivaro (Terry Duckworth – Coronation Street) Mike Grady and Sarah Thomas (Barry & Glenda – Last of the Summer Wine) Jack Douglas (Carry on Films) Anne Charleston (Madge – Neighbours) Anna Karen (Olive – On the Buses) Jane Asher (she of the cakes fame) Colin Baker (Dr Who) Paul Daniels & Debbie McGee in his last show before his untimely death, but perhaps the most famous of all those I’ve worked with would be Sooty (Sooty & Sweep)

Steve Smart Pantomime

Away from the acting, I’ve supported Everton FC for over 50 years and in 2010 fulfilled a lifelong ambition, playing in the blue of Everton at Goodison Park, hitting the post with a 22 yard left-footer from the edge of box with my first kick of the game, though I only managed to get near the ball 4 more times.

These days my real passion which occupies a lot of my time is tennis, whether it’s a social session or playing for one of David Lloyds more competitive mixed or men’s doubles teams.

winter fitness

Top tips for keeping fit and healthy this winter!

Did you know, Winter is the unhealthiest season of the year?

During these months, we tend to prefer staying indoors, hibernating in our favourite blankets in front of a burning fire. We’re also more likely to seek comfort from calorie-dense foods.

The idea of replacing your morning jog with an extra hours sleep can be very tempting during this time of year, but don’t let the winter blues bring you down.

There are many simple and inexpensive ways to stay fit and healthy during the colder seasons, and don’t worry… Not all of these tips require you to leave your home.

Get energised!


During the winter months, we notice our energy levels start to drop as we are not exercising as normal, so it’s important to continue staying active.

Moderate exercising can help to strengthen your immune system, thus reducing the risk of any colds or coughs. It can also help you feel more energetic, making it easier getting out of your bed on cold and dull mornings.

NHS LiveWell has put together 10-minute workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Eat well

healthy eating

It’s important to maintain a healthy diet throughout the year, regardless of what season we are in.

Of course, there is no harm in the odd indulging treat every now and then but you should fill your diet with healthy fruit and seasonal vegetables. Filled with chunks of vegetables and meat, winter stews and casseroles are perfect for the colder weathers. 

Also try switching cold breakfasts to comforting porridge, which is also a healthy alternative to keep you going during the day.

Check out these simple winter recipes you can try this month!

Keep warm


If you’re starting a new exercise regime, it’s important to not overdo it.

Ensure to start off with a quick warm up before each exercise to prepare your muscles. This can include a brisk walk or a jog, just to get our muscles ready for action!

It’s best to start off with a 10-minute workout, then gradually build up the time once you begin to feel more comfortable.

If you do decide to brave the cold and take your exercising outdoors, then be sure to wrap up warm with multiple layers to keep the heat in.

Have fun!

Most importantly, choose an activity you enjoy. There are many different activities you can do from workouts; yoga or swimming, so there’s bound to be something you can try.

Now give it a go and battle your winter blues this year!

Steve Vaughan reunion at Koeigsluteer am Germany

Read all about Steve’s life experiences!

Hi ! I’m Steve Vaughan and I live over on Poplar Drive. I’ve been here for just over three and a half years now, and am very much enjoying life here with you lot. I have been told to write this – so with all humility ……………….

I was born and raised in Hampshire, in a little railway town called Eastleigh, near Southampton. My Dad raised the four of us on his own, in a small terrace house opposite the fire station. Leaving the County Secondary School at fifteen, I signed on for early entry into the Army, it was that or the railway.

I became a young soldier at the Army Apprentices College Harrogate in September 1970. It took them just fourteen weeks to make me lose three stone and gain three inches in height, turning me into the hunk I still am today.

Training to be a Radio Telegraphist, I did very well at the morse, ( had a Dan Dare Radio Station when I was 10 ! it had the morse on it ), so was selected along with some others for different training in the second year, for that of a Special Telegraphist. This is a bloke, who takes high-speed morse onto an (in those days), typewriter.

An intercept operator if you will, locate and utilise enemy frequencies, identify and locate their units, inform higher echelons of their doings!

From Harrogate, it was to Woodhouse Eaves, 224 Signal Squadron, a little camp just outside of Loughborough, where they made us go even higher with the speeds and also earn how to analyse what we had taken. For readers in the know, our test speeds were 23 – 25 – 23 wpm.

Except for a two-year period in the eighties where I became a temporary civilian, I spent the next twenty-seven years in many parts of the world, a lot of it is beautiful, isolated, woodland, practicing my trade.

Expanding my skills with Russian voice procedure, German voice procedure, Serbo-Croat, and Non-Voice procedures. (printers etc.). Radio direction finding, (D.F.) Radio finger printing (R.F.P.) and a few other odds and ends that all helped with what we were doing. By now and until the end of my service I was called an “Operator Electronic Warfare”, (amongst other things).

They standardised everyone with new titles but that’s the one we kept. Sounds better than “Telecommunications Operator Linguist” (ToOL). Sigh. Will I be dragged off and shot for telling you these things? No, I have consulted those who know, and I am now apparently so old, everything I know has been written about so many times, we are now all classed as dinosaurs from the cold war, it’s all old hat.

Steve Vaughan playing christmas carols with niece

Also, when at school, two other passions were ignited, one was music by trumpet, and the other music by singing. Trumpet wise, I continued into Harrogate, becoming the solo trumpet of the college band. Then, after many years in the cold, only playing the Last Post at Remembrance ceremonies, and the odd tune in our “Soap Box” nights, I finally got to serve near a band I could play in and became the third cornet for the RAF Waddington band, and the Mareham Le Fen Silver Victory Band, later to become their Eb bass player for some years. Bill the regular moved somewhere else !!!

Making the move to slide from valves for a change and because there was no one else for the seat, means I am now the lead trombone in the Lincolnshire Hospitals Brass Band, which not only starred in this year’s fantastic charity day at the White Swan but is making a return appearance next year, September folks, take note !

The other thing was the singing, loved it, me first serious choir was the Mulheim an der Ruhr Police Choir. A huge German male voice choir, who between beers turned out superb performances. In Germany, these choirs were once as prolific as the Welsh pit choirs were at one time. Then the Horncastle Choral Society, The Gainsborough Choral Society, The Spa Singers (Woodhall), and finally, The City of Lincoln Male Voice Choir.

Who knows, maybe in the future we might start something up here at the Elms? ???? I left the Army in 1997, and have been a lorry and coach driver since. (Cab happy and love it), My present part time, and probably “Twilight” job is that of a runway sweeper. In my little sweeper lorry, early every morning at RAF Barkston Heath, by RAF Cranwell.

Steve V reunion at Koeigsluteer am Germany

I go to many reunions, where I meet up with old comrades, and drink lots of beer, (under protest ), at one reunion, they make me sing “Rule Britannia” in front of a couple of hundred Germans, they join in, more to drown me out than with any gusto for the song.

I sorted through a great many park home parks before I found the Elms, and am damn glad to say I wasn’t wrong. I’ve met and made so many good friends and neighbours here, and am part of a genuinely caring community. Gold dust! The lovely ladies in reception are more like family members than workers, and the lads working around the park always find time for a cheery wave. I like it here.

Thanks for reading, mines a Carling xxx ???? (fewer calories than a Black Sheep, but half as tasty)

Cheers, Happy Retirement!

Steve Vaughan



Why Autumn is the best season of the year!

It’s that time of the year again when the trees begin to shed their weight and we find ourselves spending more time with our fireplaces at home. Not forgetting the obvious reminders from supermarkets displaying festive delicacies such as pumpkins lattes and caramel apples.

But what is it about this season that creates a warm inviting atmosphere that we all love.

We’ve listed some of our favourite moments; see if you agree with any!

Bye, bye summer… Hello, autumn!

The autumnal weather allows us to take a break from the humid summer months, as it greets us with a refreshing cool breeze towards the end of the day.
Autumn is also much calmer than other seasons, not too cold, not too hot – just perfect. Bear in mind, it can get rather chilly in the evenings, so if you’re planning on going for a walk, make sure you wrap up warm!

Seasonal colours

It’s safe to say there is something truly amazing about watching autumnal leaves as they fall gently to the grounds.
And as you go out for your daily walk to enjoy the crisp air and leaves crunching under your feet, you’ll also notice the leaves changing colours to beautiful hues of red, orange and yellow.

Pumkins galore!


If you’re a pumpkin fan then this is your season. There’s so much you can do with them, from baking sweet pumpkin pies, or if you prefer savory then you’ll love some creamy pumpkin and lentil soup. They’re also perfect for carving your jack o lantern in time for the annual Halloween party.
Top tip:
To keep your pumpkin fresher for longer, wrap it up really tight with plastic wrap and keep it in a very cool place, preferably a refrigerator.

Trick or treat?

Autumn is full of around the world holidays such as Thanksgiving and Halloween. Halloween is a great chance to enjoy time with the family by dressing up for themed parties and events, or you can stay at home and enjoy the cheesy marathon Halloween movies. There’s so much to do – the possibilities are endless!

See what events are on this Halloween in Lincolnshire.


Halloween Ghost Bus Tour of Lincoln
Prepare to be spooked on Halloween weekend, by taking an adventure into a haunted Lincoln open-top bus tour, complete with a local ghost expert.

Date: 28th October 2017 to 29th October 2017
Time: 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: Lincoln

More information here

Halloween at Cogglesford
Visit the 18th Century watermill in Sleaford to join in with the ghostly fun and activities!

Date: 31st October 2017
Time: 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Location: Sleaford

More information here

Victorian Night of Fear 

Enjoy a night of fear in the Victorian underworld this Halloween at Lincoln Castle.

Date: 31st October 2017
Time: 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Location: Lincoln

More information here

explore the world

Activate your retirement chapter by exploring the world’s most iconic destinations!

The best thing about being retired is that you no longer need to plan around your work timetable or worrying if your annual leave will get approved or not

And not forgetting the dreaded, going back to the office day, where you’re greeted with an inbox overflowing with mundane emails.

For the last 40-50 years you have worked hard and tried to provide the best for your friends and family, but now it’s your time to kick back and enjoy a more relaxed life.

Traveling after retirement is most definitely one of the best chapters that you can introduce to your life. Retirement doesn’t mean you have to spend your time confined in your home, although the occasional cozy evenings in front of the warm fireplace are exceptions.

Planning for life post-retirement is important, as it gives you time to realise what retirement really has to offer. See it as a beginning of a new life and opportunity to explore and do things that you wouldn’t be able to do before this special time.

And guess what… There is a whole world out there waiting to be explored!

Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, solitude or crowds, budget or extravagance, there’s a perfect trip out there for everyone.


1: Fancy an adventure?

Where: South Africa
Wave goodbye to the 9-5 life and get ready for an epic African adventure! South Africa is one of the continents best safari destinations, where you can explore the vibrant city of Cape Town and get a chance to meet the big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino).

So if you’re up for a spot of adventure then South Africa is the place to be.

2: Ultimate relaxation

holiday resport

Where: Caribbean
Caribbean holidays are perfect for you to unwind and relax. There are so many paradise islands to choose from that have the worlds most beautiful beaches and resorts. Many of these resorts will offer luxury spa treatments and fitness retreats to invigorate your body.

You can enjoy the constant warmth of the sun whilst you’re being pampered on the sun-kissed beaches. This holiday would definitely help you unravel and de-stress as you adapt to the laid-back island life.

3: Step back in time


Where: China
If you fancy discovering different cultures and learning about the history and traditions of foreign lands then China would be a great place to start.

Explore the wonders of China by visiting the capital city of Beijing, where you can explore the famous Forbidden City and if you’re really up for the walk, then embark onto the iconic Great Wall of China.

4: Stay-cation

lakes district

Where: England
Of course, you don’t have to go abroad to have a good time. You can choose to travel a bit closer to home and explore what Britain has to offer. The English coast offers a fun holiday for the family or you can enjoy the amazing scenery and outdoor adventures in the Lakes district.

There are so many places to choose from, the choice is yours.

Simple tweaks to your diet could add years to your life!

Forget the anti-ageing creams or weight loss pills, your answer to looking better is very simple! All you need to do is make a few lifestyle changes to make sure you feel and look healthy.

Research over the years has shown that subtle lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing killer conditions that are affecting more and more people every day. Whilst juggling our busy lifestyle, family and friends, we often forget the importance of a healthy diet.

In fact, it’s pretty simple to take control of your health and know exactly what you’re putting into your body and the impact it’s creating.

Whether it’s cutting out the greasy takeaway or adding more greens to your plate, there’s always something we all can do to make ourselves healthier. As the saying goes – every little helps!

Here are some simple diet tweaks you can make to help you look and feel more powerful!

Go Green – Swap ordinary tea for green tea

Greet tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet, that’s loaded with antioxidants and nutrients which have a positive effect on the body.

It’s also thought the antioxidants found in green tea may have a role in helping the body burn more calories, as it helps speeds up the metabolism. So it’s a great option to go for if you are trying to lose weight.

Green tea does come with a bitter and herbal flavour, so if that’s ‘not your cup of tea’ then why not try it with a dollop of honey for added flavour and sweetness?


Happy-go-nutty! – Eat more nuts and seeds

nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are great snacking treats if you are not allergic to nuts of course. They also make up an important part of a healthy diet as they help to reach your recommended intake of protein each day.

A diet rich in nuts and seeds can help reduce the levels of inflammation in your body. Here are some top nuts and seeds.

Almond: Rich in calcium like milk and contains magnesium, vitamin E and lots of fibre
Walnuts: Very good for maintaining a healthy heart and brain
Pecans: Contains lots of vitamins and minerals like folic acid, zinc, potassium and it also helps reduce cholesterol levels
Flax seeds: Contains lots of fibre and antioxidants and can be easily added to oatmeal or smoothies
Pumpkin Seeds: These are great for your immune system!


Get your ACE superpowers! 

Vitamins in your diet

Vitamins A C and E are the anti-ageing superheroes! Choosing foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals is the best way to give your body what it needs to stay healthy and well-nourished.

Avoid taking supplements and get your vitamin fix from different foods instead.

Vitamin A: Carrots, peppers, butternut squash, mango, cantaloupe, broccoli, spinach
Vitamin C: Kiwi fruit, oranges, raspberries, strawberries and peppers
Vitamin E: Nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.


Keep calm and eat fish! 

Fish diet

The human body can’t naturally produce omega-3s, but they’re still important and needed for a healthy body inside and out.

Fish is the world’s best source of omega-3 fatty acids and it’s loaded with vital nutrients such as protein and vitamin D.

Plus you can get plumper looking skin by eating more oily fish such as mackerel and salmon. The fats in oily fish are required for healthy cell membrane, which acts as a guard and helps cells hold onto moisture in the body. 

Hello Fruit and Veg, long time no see

Fruit and Veg

It’s important to eat fruits and vegetables regularly each day as it’s a simple way to improve your nutrition and to add those natural vitamins and minerals to your body.

Your overall health can be improved by eating a diet filled with plenty of fruits and vegetables. They can also help to keep your weight under control as they are filling but low in calories.

Plus there are so many ways you can add fruits and vegetables to your everyday diet.

Have an orange with your breakfast, a delicious broccoli salad for lunch, steamed asparagus with dinner and finish off with a fruit salad for dessert!


The choice is yours…

Remember, your body is a temple. So you must cut out anything in your diet that is silently causing destruction to your body.

By following these simple lifestyle changes, not only are you improving your health, you will also feel a lot happier knowing you are fuelling your body with the correct nutrients it deserves.

Follow the transformation

A really exciting opportunity has arisen for us to totally refurbish and renovate one of the original brochure park home properties here on The Elms. Back in 1987 12a Birch Grove, a large 42 by 20 foot park home, was sited on The Elms for residents Mr and Mrs Finn.

Situated on a superb plot adjacent to the lake with stunning views and a prime end plot location with a garage, this property was used to feature in our brochures back in the late 1980’s. Oh how times have changed…

Mr and Mrs Finn loved their new park home and took great pride in its appearance. Unfortunately, not long after they moved in to their new home, Mr Finn passed away. Mrs Finn however, embraced life and became quite a character here on The Elms riding around on her three-wheeler bicycle and coming up to the office just for a kiss from John Kinch! She swore this is the reason she moved here! Mrs Finn went on to enjoy many happy years here at the Elms until she sadly passed away in December last year, having been a resident here for nearly 30 years!

Due to progressing ill health in her later years, the property has had little maintenance work carried out on it, so when the opportunity arose for us to purchase the property back, we decided it was perfect for us to take it under our wing and inject some life back into this property on such a prime plot. We decided to write blog posts about its progress to show you how an older park home, that some may think is near to the end of its life, can actually have a new lease of life injected back into it and look just as good as new.

Before: A few pictures of what the property looked like in May 2017…


These pictures taken in September 2017 show that the garden is all cleared, the kitchen has been stripped out and the transformation is on its way.

More pictures will follow shortly revealing some very exciting changes…

Track progress of this renovation project as we go through each stage and see the exciting developments that will take place as we transform this 1987 property into 21st century living.


Big changes are happening as we can see from the latest pictures taken in October!

The new kitchen is really starting to take shape and the new doors and wardrobes give a fresh feel to the bedrooms.


To make the most of the impressive views we are opening up the kitchen window area – wow what a view this will be!

birch grove

Latest updates for November – Scaffolding went up last week all in preparation to install a brand new roof. Now it’s really starting to take shape!

new roof


When the renovations are finished this prime park home property will come on the market for sale, so watch this space.

Follow the transformation project through our Facebook Page! 

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