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Longbridge Village - Lynne Chalk and Val McBride

Lynne and Val were born just two days apart. They went to school together. They started work in the same office. And when Lynne married Val’s brother at 16 it was Val who was her bridesmaid.

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Now, more than 60 years after they first met, Val and Lynne are both moving to the new Longbridge Retirement Village in Birmingham, where they plan to spend the rest of their lives just a stone’s throw away from each other.

‘We are going to have great fun,’ said 71 year old grandmother Val. ‘We love entertainment and activities.’

Val and her husband Mick and Lynne and her husband Graham are moving to two bedroom apartments on the third floor of the village.

The couples look back on a lifetime of memories together. They have been on holidays to San Francisco, Dubai, and the South of France. They have shared weddings, christenings, Val’s 50th birthday party, Mick’s 60th, Lynne and Graham’s golden wedding when they all went to Las Vegas. Val and Lynne, who is also 71, sometimes talk every day.

‘We like the same things and the four of us get on,’ said Lynne. ‘We have a laugh. We are closer now than we have ever been.’

Val and 75 year old Mick, a former shop steward at the Longbridge Car Factory, have lived in their three bedroomed semi-detached house for 40 years.

Val says she is looking forward to living in Longbridge Village. The last time they decorated their lounge Lynne and Graham helped them. ‘It’s hard work,’ she said. ‘I’m looking forward to having a nice, brand new place and also being safe and secure. I want to enjoy what life I have left. Both my children think it’s a good idea.’

Lynne and Graham were finding the large garden in their bungalow more difficult to manage. Graham, a 73 year old former Longbridge car factory worker and window cleaner, has Parkinson’s.

‘We spent all our time doing the garden and it became a chore and not a pleasure,’ says Lynne. ‘Instead of going out and enjoying ourselves or doing other things we are cutting the grass, we are cutting the hedge. Things wear out and you have to keep decorating.’

At Longbridge Village she is looking forward to joining the gym, to enjoying shows and playing bingo.

‘We are going to be safe, there’s going to be help if we want it, there’s going to be things to do, you only have to go downstairs,’ she says.

‘If anything happens to Graham or to me we can call on Mick and Val, and they can do the same with us. We will make other friends and have a social life. I don’t want to be lonely.

‘Graham wants to learn line dancing, Val wants to sing.

‘Now we have got a new beginning. It’s so exciting.’

Picture: Lynne (left) and Val (right)

Contact Longbridge Village on 0300 303 2333!