Bill and Pam are jumping for joy – how a former jockey and his wife galloped into a new life with Brio

“We want to shout from the rooftops how happy we are!”

Moving during retirement can be an emotional and physical upheaval – but not for Pam and Bill Shoemark who recently moved to Brio Retirement Living’s Beechwood Park in the beautiful Cotswold market town of Stow-on-the-Wold. Here, Pam, 80, and Bill, 82, tell us about love at first sight, and how their new home has given them a renewed lease of life and more importantly, peace of mind following a traumatic experience…

“We couldn’t have wished to move to a more perfect place. Beechwood Park throws any connotation of living an old-fashioned retirement straight out of the window – this place is bursting with a passion for life, and we’re thrilled to call it home,” Pam explains.

Coming from a very active family and with a successful career as a jockey under his belt - Bill started his career in the racing industry at the age of 15, spent most of his career as a jump racing jockey, which obviously runs in the family as his son was a jockey and two of his grandsons - but life changed when he suffered a terrifying experience where he fell down the stairs and suffered a bleed on the brain and had to undergo emergency surgery. Thankfully Bill is recovering well, but it was certainly a very scary time for this couple – which led to the decision of moving somewhere they could live over one floor and with peace of mind for the whole family.

Pam shares: “We’d recently moved into a three-bed detached in nearby Bourton-on-the-Water when Bill had his fall. It just happened out of the blue and changed our perspective on life in an instant. Thankfully his surgery went well but he still suffers with his balance and a small heart condition was picked up too. It made us all realise that we really needed to live in a property without stairs and our son suggested we look at Beechwood Park – which we’re over-the-moon we did!”

Bill continued: “I must have driven past the entrance to Beechwood Park 100 times but never ever thought about looking around. I can hand-on-heart say the one time I did drive into Beechwood Park, was all it took! We fell in love with the development instantly and it’s a completely different concept to anything we’ve seen before.”

Pam and Bill discussed the move with their two sons’ families, and everyone agreed how beautiful the development was. Pam explained: “We’d always shied away from living anywhere with ‘retirement’ in its name – I guess we’re from an independent generation that has negative connotations of the old-fashioned retirement homes. But Beechwood Park is an absolute breath of fresh air! Our sons knew we’d love the idea of living a modern retirement – we’re ever so thankfully they suggested we look round.

“From the moment we drove into the stunning development we were in awe – then upon meeting the wonderful team here, we genuinely couldn’t believe our luck in finding such a perfect place to live. We’ve opted for a one-bedroom first floor apartment – particularly because we overlook the fields and surrounding countryside which is stunning. We don’t have to worry about stairs as it’s on one floor and there are lifts to each floor. The apartment is lovely, the team here can’t do enough for you and our dog Pepsi loves it here too!

“We’re independent and active – we love walking around beautiful Stow-on-the-Wold – but we’re thrilled to have the option of professional help as/when we need it, which gives us and our family peace of mind. It’s so important to us both to know that we can access help instantly – which takes a huge weight off our shoulders and means we can embrace every day without worries and live life to the full!”

Pam and Bill moved into their new home at the end of June and have already settled in beyond their ‘wildest dreams’. “It’s just a delight to live here”, shares Bill, with joy and relief in his voice. “We used the ‘Hassle Free Move’ service on offer here and it made the move a breeze! We can’t speak highly enough of the team here – they helped us with the practical side of moving and with any technological issues too - we’re very thankful and encourage anyone considering a move here in retirement to just do it! It’s 100% the right decision.”

Pam and Bill have embraced life at Beechwood Park – making friends and joining in the many activities on offer including a BBQ hosted on the day they moved in, wine and cheese events, and games sessions - whilst enjoying the facilities with their families too. 

“Our family have been very involved with the move – we have one son who lives minutes away and our other son can visit and take advantage of the guest suite on offer here,” explained Bill. “Both our sons have their own families too – we have seven fantastic grandchildren – so living here just takes away any additional pressure or worries since my fall. We are firm believers in that if you can eliminate any negatives to free up time for the important things in life, that’s what living a fulfilled life is about – and we’re certainly doing that here at Beechwood Park!”

Pam concludes: “We met on my 21st birthday in 1963 and have embraced life together ever since. We’ve lived through many decades experiencing the highs and lows life can throw at you as a couple and then as a family – and we cannot thank the team at Beechwood Park for setting alight a new flame in us both for embracing life here in our new home. It’s perfect.”

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a day of exploring, then coming home to the place you love.

Beechwood Park comprises 106 thoughtfully designed homes with a range of layouts to suit your lifestyle and living arrangement needs. With one, two- and three-bedroom apartments still available, we can help you find the right home for you within this vibrant age-exclusive community. Discover more about the area, and all it has to offer here.

Together with a range of lifestyle support services available, we can ensure your retirement years are as independent and adventurous as you want them to be!

To find out more about life at Brio or to book a viewing, head to our Contact Page.