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David Ingleby shares his love for Canals and Rivers!

My name is David Ingleby and I live with my wife Elaine on Hawthorn Avenue. Both of us were born and raised in Peterborough and, after we married, moved through various homes in the East Midlands as my job in agricultural finance took me to different locations.

Before Elaine and I started courting I had found another love – the wonderful world of canals and rivers. In 1975, I, with a group of friends, had my first canal narrowboat holiday, the first of five annual (and sometimes alcoholic!) trips taken with friends that took us to Lancashire, Cheshire and Manchester and a very wet week on the canals of Birmingham and the Black Country – where, it is claimed, there are more canals than Venice!

After we married, Elaine’s first trip came in 1983 and, she, like me, quickly fell under the beguiling spell of the British canal system. Exploring the rural heart of the country and entering major cities by the ‘back door’ provided a complete and relaxing contrast to our increasingly hectic home and work lives.

Each year would see us take at least one canal holiday – a long weekend, a week, or sometimes a cherished fortnight that enabled us to travel further. We grew to envy the people for whom the canals were home – living on their own narrowboats, travelling where they wanted to when they wanted to. Gradually a dream materialised, crystallizing into a fierce ambition for us to live on our own boat when retirement came. We started planning.

The opportunity came sooner than we expected. Our three girls had either moved from the family home or were about to, and Elaine’s Mum, the last of our parents, had just died. Then came the third re-organisation of my work department in four years. I didn’t waste any time in putting my hand up for early retirement.

Within a week of getting the green light for an early retirement, we had visited our chosen boat builder, shown them the detailed plans of what we wanted, adjusted them to fit the size of boat we wanted and how much we could afford, placed the order and paid the deposit.

Within three months of my last workday, we had sold our home in Peterborough and, three days before Christmas, had moved onto a second-hand boat we had bought to live on whilst our own boat was being built. No hanging around!

Thus started a wonderful ten years of living afloat. We kept a permanent mooring at a small boatyard in Northamptonshire where we could keep our car and where we could retreat to for the winter months. Every March we would start to get everything ready – boat engine service, accessories all checked, food stocks built up, and plans made for where we wanted to cruise to, and then, usually by the end of March, we would start our cruising that would not see us return to the mooring until the autumn was well advanced.

In those ten years, we travelled over 5,700 miles, worked through nearly 4,500 locks and a couple of hundred swing and lift bridges. We travelled to Llangollen, Bath and Bristol, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and gloried in the scenery of the three canal crossings of the Pennines, the Staffordshire Moorlands and the Berkshire & Wiltshire Downs.

Supermarkets were usually too far distant from the canal to be convenient so we re-discovered the delights of shopping in the local family butchers, greengrocers and bakers. We ate in small-town restaurants, visited local museums and theatres and found an England (and part of Wales) that is a world away from the big city lights.

Talking of city lights, we found moorings at Little Venice (close to Paddington Station) in London that enabled us to moor there for a fortnight and so on several occasions, our boat became a floating hotel for our daughters and grandchildren to come and stay for a short city break.

We loved Birmingham, Chester, Leeds, and particularly Liverpool where the newly built canal entrance to the central docks takes you right in front of the iconic buildings known as the Three Graces and through Albert Dock. But we also have a great affection for the unassuming market towns – Wigan, Stone, Rugeley and many others, together with the lovely villages that we passed through.

However, all good things come to an end. Early into our 2013 cruise, Elaine had a bad fall at a lock at Middlewich in Cheshire and broke her leg just below her left knee. A week in hospital and six weeks of keeping it immobile made us realise that the physical side of boating – the locks, the walking and just the effort required to climb into and out of the boat would soon become difficult, and we made the sad decision to move back on to dry land and sell our boat.

Living on a boat had given us a different outlook on life. We didn’t want to go back to bricks and mortar and living in a built up urban area. We wanted peace, quiet and security. We had seen several park home sites on our travels and decided to look at these as an option.

We did a fair amount of online research and, knowing we wanted to live on the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire border (for family history reasons!), The Elms was a prime candidate. We made visits on two Open Days and asked a lot of questions. We liked what we saw, and made a separate visit where we had a long talk with Ann. Fortunately our home to be was up for sale at a reduced price, and we took the plunge.

We have never regretted it. The community on The Elms is very similar to that on the canals – everyone says hello and is happy to stop and pass the time of day. We know our neighbours better in four years than our neighbours in Peterborough and we lived in the same house for 15 years! We love it here!

David Ingleby

Common misconceptions about mindfulness you need to know!

Mindfulness and meditation sessions are becoming increasingly popular now, as it’s a great way to get away from our busy lifestyles. But there are still many people that don’t fully understand what it is all about.

We’ve put together a few common myths about mindfulness to help clear any misconceptions!

Mindfulness is about getting rid of bad thoughts

Many people are under the impression that mindfulness and meditation are meant to banish the mind of thoughts whatever they may be. But in fact, it is all about trying to relate to them in a different manner. Bad thoughts can not magically disappear but we can learn how not get too caught up in them.

‘I have to have positive thoughts only’

Mindfulness is all about trying to accept your thoughts, no matter if they are good or bad. It’s about understanding that we have no control over our thoughts and we shouldn’t let them take over how we feel overall.

Mindfulness is just for the elderly

In fact, there is a lot of scientific study around mindfulness and how it can help numerous people in various settings such as businesses, schools and hospitals. Mindfulness activities are designed to help people to escape from their stressful modern life and unwind from their busy schedules.

Mindfulness with make all my problems go away

No matter what we do, we will always experience difficulties in life such as health issues or loss of loved ones. Mindfulness practices will not eliminate or fix all our worldly troubles, but it may help us to deal with them in a better way.

Supportive Attitudes you need to have!
There are many different attitude types that can help with mindfulness, such as, patience, being non-judgemental, acceptance and having the mindset to let go. It can take awhile to get used to the concept but in time you will begin to notice the positive impact it has on your mind and well-being. 

John viney instructor

John Viney shares his best self-defence technique!

My name is John Viney, my wife Chris and I moved to The Elms in September 2012 after seeing The Elms on an episode of Homes Under the Hammer.

John Viney
Suited up

I started martial arts in 1969, whilst serving in the Royal Navy, doing Karate (I was 20 ish). At this time, it was difficult because of the travelling around the seven seas to train regular, with a club. So, I did the best I could when away, going back to the Dojo (Training Hall) as often as I could.

On leaving the Navy, I started doing Shotokan Karate in Birmingham, gaining my Shodan (1st Dan black belt) in 1986.  Due to work commitments and moving around a lot my Karate took a back seat for a while, but I always trained when I had the chance.

On retiring I was able to train a lot more and gained my Nidan (2nd Dan). I also became very interested in Tai Chi and started training with Master David Allerton whilst in Cyprus. On returning to the U.K. my wife, Chris and I moved to The Elms in Torksey, where I found a Dojo five minutes away. I also travelled to North Allerton to train with master David.

John viney and student

I now instruct Tai Chi at DW sport and fitness gym Gainsborough on a Monday and Thursday morning for members. It has proven to be very popular with 12 to 18 students turning up each class.

Now 68, I am not as fast as I was but I am wiser, best form of defence? RUN!!!!!

I don’t know how I had time to go to work ???

John viney instructor

John Viney

Large lake fountain and homes

May Open Day

Join us for our open weekend on the 19th and 20th May.

Take this opportunity to visit one of the finest family run retirement villages in the country where park homes are nestled within beautifully maintained grounds and its residents enjoy all the peace and tranquillity that life at The Elms can offer.

Get in touch today to book a personal viewing at any time of the year or simply come along on either of the dates above for an informal walk around our park and homes.

Change your view of what is available to you for your retirement years.

The Elms is a no pets park.

For further details or a brochure please contact us on

01427 718243 or email us at

Open Weekends

Open Weekends at The Elms!

Open Weekends

Take this opportunity to visit one of the finest family run retirement villages in the country where park homes are nestled within beautifully maintained grounds and its residents enjoy all the peace and tranquillity that life at The Elms can offer.

Get in touch today to book a personal viewing at any time of the year or simply come along on either of the dates above for an informal walk around our park and homes.

Change your view of what is available to you for your retirement years.

The Elms is a no pets park.

For further details or a brochure please contact us on

01427 718243 or email us at

Penny Prentice – From Torksey’s ‘Red Hat Ladies’

My name is Penny Prentice and I moved to The Elms with my husband Rob in December 2010. I was born and grew up in Hamble, Hampshire, but have lived most of my life in Yorkshire.My husband Rob is from Goole, East Yorkshire and that is where we were living after being retired for a year, when at the gym on a treadmill we were watching ‘Homes Under the Hammer’.

One of the homes featured was on The Elms, a place we had never heard of, but liked the look of. I looked it up on the Internet when we got home, made an appointment to have a look at the site and we fell in love with it immediately. That was in October 2010, we put our house up for sale straight away and it sold within weeks – we moved into Lime Close on 10th December 2010 in three foot of snow!

Rob joined the Elms fishing club as soon as we moved here, a perfect place for a fisherman.  He still belongs to ‘Goole Ramblers’ and goes back once a month to walk with them.  He also walks most days here in Torksey, picking up the village litter as he goes along – I am very proud of the way he keeps the village and its sign looking clean and tidy.

We still belong to the same gym franchise in Gainsborough as we went to in Yorkshire.  I also belong to Chestnut and Lime luncheon clubs, so it is a good job I do still belong to the gym!

In the Autumn of 2011 I met, by chance down by the lake Sylvia Poore who had just moved onto the Elms, she asked if I would like to join a ladies group that she was going to form the following Spring called ‘The Red Hat Ladies’.

Penny Prentice photo

To be honest I was not keen, especially when I found out that the only rules were to wear purple clothing and a red hat!

However, Sylvia spent her winters in Australia, so that gave me plenty of time to get think about it. Sylvia, with much persuasion, got together ten ladies including myself at the tea rooms on 15th May 2012, two of the ladies decided that it was not for them but I am pleased to say that the other eight ladies are still members.

By September 2012 Sylvia was ready for her winter in Australia again and asked me if I would be ‘Queen’ while she was away.  Because of family commitments, Sylvia did not want to take over when she got back from Australia and I have been ‘Queen’ and running the group ever since. We meet once a fortnight at the White Swan, as we now have 21 members we have got too big a group for the tea rooms. We also have many outings and days and nights away apart from our meetings, we are so grateful to The Elms mini bus that takes us out and about.

In September The Elms rang a Macmillan Coffee Morning with various stalls including a Cake “Bake Off” and invited Queen Penny along to judge the completion.

judging Bake off for MacMillan coffee morning

I am really proud of our group of Ladies and I can honestly say that ‘Torksey Red Hat Ladies’ has enriched my life here on the Elms.

I am so pleased we were at the gym watching ‘Homes under the Hammer’ in 2010.

Penny Prentice



diet tips

Top tips to help your diet work better!

Keeping in shape and eating well is important for a healthy well-being. With so many diet plan options out there, there is bound to be a plan that suits you and your lifestyle.

Alongside the diet, it’s also worth considering other areas in your day-to-day activities and if they are having a positive or negative effect on your health. For example, you could be eating a balanced diet, however, you’re not getting the right amount of sleep. This could eventually play a toll on your body and mind, which means it could affect how you feel in general.

Whether you are looking to lose weight or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, we’ve put together a list of tips that you can follow no matter what diet plan you are with.

1: Cut out hidden sugars

Cut out hidden sugars

We often overlook our sugar intake on an average day. A lot of sugar is found in cakes and biscuits, which can be addictive. Once you have one biscuit, you can’t stop! Sugar doesn’t help you feel full, in fact, it just makes you want to eat more and more of it.

You don’t have to deprive yourself completely of sweet treats. Natural sweetness can be found in many fresh fruits and healthy sugars such as honey and maple syrup.

2: Stay hydrated

stay hydrated

It’s important your body is getting the right amount of water to keep itself hydrated and energized at all times. Drinking water can also help you to reduce the amount of food you eat as it can help to fill your appetite quite fast.

3: Get some sleep

get some sleep

We often forget the most important part of maintaining a healthy well being and is to get the right amount of rest our body needs to function properly. Research shows that a sleep-deprived group of people are more likely to opt for eating sugary and fatty foods rather than healthier options. When we don’t get enough sleep there is an increase of ghrelin levels in our appetite, which gives the brain the signals to eat.

4: 10k steps a day


According to the NHS Choices website, a 45-year old that weighs around 70kg can burn up to 400 calories by working 10,000 steps. It may be worth investing in a Fitbit or pedometer to track and motivate you to walk more. It’s one of the easiest exercises you can do… Plus you don’t need to join any gyms or club.

Go ahead – You’ll be amazed at the difference these simple tips can make to your mood and waistline.

Paul Rodgers

Paul Rodgers – The Artist

My wife Margaret and I moved to The Elms in June 2011 from a village near Doncaster.

Drawing and painting have always been a part of my life.

My father was extremely capable of drawing. Making images from memory to entertain both myself and my sister, but he was more artistic when playing football or cricket. My mother was a creative in the kitchen, baking cakes and pastries as good, if not better than some of the genii that trace out TV screens today.

woodland walk

When reviewing Pauls collection the team at The Elms office particularly liked Dukes Lane (left) as it reminded us all of John’s Woodland Walk (right). Dukes Lane is in Kimberworth, Rotherham. Duke was Paul’s mother’s maiden name, and her antecedents in the 18th century had coke ovens here. The lane joined the ‘engine pond’ to the coke ovens for cooling in the coke making process. The engine pond is behind the Colin Pub (Sir Colin Campbell) for those of a similar age to Paul.

I have drawn and painted since I can remember. As a hobbyist more than anything, but I attended Art college on Saturdays as a 12-year-old, too young to be put on the register.

Fynn brownett

The painting of the dog is of Ann’s ‘Mad Sprocker’, Fynn. Ann commissioned Paul to paint Fynn from a photograph as a surprise for her husband at Christmas.

I started in earnest in a creative way when I was made redundant from British Steel 45 years ago. I went to art school as a mature student (clothed and fed by my wife of 12 months) and studied graphic design.

Sarah wilburn

Of course many of you will recognise Sarah in her portrait.

I worked in Ad agencies, graphic design studios, ‘in-house’ studios, self-employment (free-lance, a term from the middle ages meaning a lance for hire) part-time and full-time lecturing. All the time building up an experience of artistic skills and knowledge. Because I’d always wanted to be an artist.

I then reached the default age!

This enabled me to try and make my way in the world as an artist. I have had exhibitions in this area and gone back to my roots to exhibit in ‘Open’ exhibitions, I even ‘judge’ the Artist bade for some friends at their cub’s group.

Thank you.

Paul J Rodgers


How to re-charge your happiness levels in 2018!

You’ll be surprised to know a lot of time and research has gone into understanding what makes us humans happy and how it affects our bodies and minds. And in fact, scientific research proves that people who are happy live longer and live a much healthier life.

We experience an array of emotional highs and lows throughout our lives whether it’s a job promotion, wedding day, losing a loved one or with the birth of a child. But these are only temporary feelings and experts believe they alone are not enough to achieve true happiness in our lives.

There are many different routes you can take to boost your happiness levels in your daily lifestyle. Some of which are so simple, you’d wish you had done sooner!

Get a pet!


Research shows spending time with a pet, can be a great way to release stress and beat loneliness. And if you don’t have the space to own a pet, there are many places where you can ‘borrow’ a pet by linking with local pet owners, allowing you to take them out for walks and look after them over the weekends or when the owners are away on holiday.

Check out these Pet Borrowing websites: Pawshake, Borrowmydoggy

Retail Therapy

retail therapy

We’ve all heard of retail therapy, but did you know studies have actually proven that by looking at objects that are beautiful and functional can make a person feel excited and happy.

Of course, you don’t have to always go on a spending spree if you are feeling low, or else you will end up with financial problems instead! It’s worth considering setting aside some ‘me time’ funds, so you can spend on what makes you happy from time to time. Be it buying a book, a spa day or even a fresh haircut.

Join a group

book club

Being part of a group that share the same interest and hobbies as you is a great way to feel happier within yourself. Studies have shown that people who surround themselves with happy people are more likely to be happy themselves.
So whether it’s a sporting activity, book group or sewing class; belonging to a group that connects to you can help you help boost your happiness levels. Plus it’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

Ultimately, true happiness lies within and in your general attitude to life. Having a clear and relaxed state of mind will naturally increase your happiness levels.

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