Cavendish Park Profile 1991
This article was printed in what was then Mobile & Holiday Homes magazine, now Park Home & Holiday Caravan.
On many occasions we have commented on how fascinating it is for us to return to a park several years after we first saw it in its early stages of development. This was equally true when we paid a return visit to Cavendish Park at Camberley which was purchased by Greenfords at the end of 1979. We featured that park early in 1983 when Michael Woolfson, Greenfords’ managing director, explained his plans for upgrading this small park and for developing the extension area for which he had recently received planning permission.
That extension is now complete and full and blends nicely with the rest of this park. Michael Woolfson explained that there was a lot of work to do but it was tackled gradually. All the bases for the homes were renewed as they became vacant, as were all the mains and services. New car parks have been put in and all the roads have been re-surfaced.
Camberley is a very expensive bricks-and-mortar housing area and Mr Woolfson’s original idea was to create a park especially for the young marrieds who were finding local bricks and mortar outside their price bracket. The park is about a mile from the town centre of Camberley and is situated very close to Sandhurst Military Staff College. It is just off the Yorktown Road which is on a bus route and there is a parade of shops adjacent to the park. The shops in Camberley cater for almost every need and Bracknell, Reading and Guildford are only about a 20-minute drive away. the park is also well situated for easy access to the M3 and M4 motorways and Sandhurst railway station is about half a mile away.
The homes are all on mains services, apart from gas, and most residents use bottled LPG. Electricity meters are grouped in a central area and residents can ask the manager (who lives on the park) to inspect their meter at any time. All services including telephone lines are laid underground and there are connections to each home. Street lighting is of the automatic photo-cell type, coming on at dusk and going off at dawn.
“I was looking for a place to call my own,” Miss Kay Bowman told us, “and I knew about Cavendish Park because I had some friends living there.” Miss Bowman knew that she couldn’t afford bricks and mortar in the area and was doubtful about whether she would be able to afford a park home either but was pleasantly surprised to find a previously-occupied Omar Ranchhouse for sale which was within her price bracket. Better still, the home was in immaculate condition and she was able to move in within days.
Miss Bowman hails from Wales but she is currently working for the Surrey Heath Council. She told us what a delight it is to have her “own front door” after having lived in digs for the previous three years.
She has never had a garden before but was anxious to learn and to experiment with the small plot around her home. She commented that although she had only moved in a few weeks previously she already had got to know most people on the park, and everyone had been friendly and helpful to her.
Living in a Donnington 36 we met Betty and Eddie Blackall who had been on the park for 18 years, although they moved into a new Donnington home about ten years ago.
Mrs Blackall has recently retired but used to work in a local newsagent’s shop and during her time there came third in the ‘Sales Assistant of the Year Award.’
Mr Blackall works at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst where he is senior storeman in the clothing department. He told us what a fascinating job that was as there was an annual intake of about 700 soldiers, of all shapes and sizes, and all of them needing to be kitted out.
Mr and Mrs Blackall’s garden was a picture at the time of our visit and they told us how much they enjoy gardening and think that this also encourages other residents to look after theirs.
In our original article about Cavendish Park, we said that Greenfords were keen to acquire other parks. Shortly afterwards we heard about Merrywood Park at Box Hill which Greenfords purchased and developed from scratch. This is now a very prestigious semi-retirement and retirement development of brand new single and twin units, enjoying magnificent views of adjacent National Trust countryside. We know that since then Mr Woolfson has been looking very hard for other parks and we were delighted to hear recently that his company has purchased Dunromyn Park (renamed Ferndale Park) at Bray in Berkshire. This is another small park – just 22 plots – and is situated between the town centres of Maidenhead and Windsor and within walking distance of Bray Marina and the River Thames.