Wigan widower's gratitude for a new beginning after suffering a traumatic loss

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“A permanent holiday”: that is how 80-year-old George Martland describes a Wigan retirement living development after a supremely difficult time for him.

George lost his beloved wife Dorothy at the start of 2023 after she had suffered from dementia for several years. George had been her carer at their bungalow where they had lived for half a century but when she needed specialist care, he was left on his own in the family home.

Having found the isolation challenging, George took the bold decision to look for somewhere new to live, and says he found the right solution virtually on his doorstep.

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RETRO: Wigan news and events in 2008
George Martland at Brideoake Court in StandishGeorge Martland at Brideoake Court in Standish
George Martland at Brideoake Court in Standish

George said: “I was born in Wigan and had always lived in the area – I was aware that McCarthy Stone was building a new development in Standish - Brideoake Court - and was intrigued to find out more.

“I was invited to visit the show apartments at another McCarthy Stone development, Balshaw Court in Leyland. I was really impressed with what I saw and signed up for a new home at Brideoake Court almost immediately.”

With the development still under construction at the time, George couldn’t move in immediately, however the McCarthy Stone team kept in constant touch and were invaluable in helping him move when the time did arrive last August: “McCarthy Stone recommended an estate agent for me as well as a solicitor and a removals firm, which all worked out really well and took the stress out of moving,” he said.

Since moving in, George has made a wealth of new friends and continues to do so as the remaining homes there become occupied in quick succession.

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He added: “Our community of homeowners have lots of spontaneous events. One we had recently was a communal supper where everyone brought along a dish. Everyone is so friendly and there’s always someone around to chat. It really has been a great tonic for me.”

Having started his career as an apprentice painter and decorator, George moved to Heinz in Wigan in his early 20s and was able to retire at the age of 50 thanks to the generous pension scheme offered there.

Dorothy worked at Wigan Infirmary, where she rose to become chief medical officer in the haematology department.

The couple had two sons, one now a doctor in Yorkshire and the other living with his family in Sydney, Australia.

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When Dorothy retired at 54, the couple were able to indulge their passion for travel. Cruises were a regular source of enjoyment and the couple also made trips to Sydney to see their younger son and his family, and travelled as far as Adelaide and Ayers Rock. Italy was another frequent destination with Dorothy being fluent in the local language.

George’s passion for travel remains and he will make the long journey to Australia this May for a five-week stay with his family, safe in the knowledge that his McCarthy Stone property is safe and secure with the Brideoake Court House Manager on-hand.

On his return and as the Brideoake Court community continues to grow, George is sure, he’ll no doubt have plenty of stories to share with his new friends.