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60 wonderful years!

october blogOne of the industry’s best known and longest established park operators, Berkeleyparks, celebrates its 60th anniversary this month.

Everybody knows someone on a Berkeleyparks site - after all, the well-respected operator is the UK’s largest site owner with a whopping 50 parks in its impressive portfolio. In almost a decade in the park home world, I’m yet to encounter a Berkeleyparks site that I’ve not been made to feel really welcome on... or one that I couldn’t say was anything less than top-notch. That’s quite an achievement, considering the company looks after so many residents across the country!

With this firmly in mind, it comes as a privilege and an pleasure to unveil our 48-page Berkeleyparks special (see page 79). We get to grips with the history of the company, from its humble beginnings to the sprawling operation it is today. We also run the rule over a superb selection of its parks, including half a dozen full park profiles and the lowdown on all its other options, too.

We also examine its transportation arm - an important cog that ensures the smooth transit of mobile homes from manufacturer’s factory to Berkeleyparks’ sites.

Finally, as Berkeleyparks is such a crucial part of the industry - not only directly employing many hundreds of staff but also keeping other companies in associated parts of the industry well served for work - we sign off our guide with our top ten reasons for choosing Berkeleyparks.

On top of your Berkeleyparks guide, there’s plenty more to whet your appetite this month. We visit parks in the south and the north of the country: Dorset and Lancashire to be precise.

We also preview the Hercma show at Beaulieu, in Hampshire, and the West Country event, in Devon.

And if new homes are your bag, look out for our reviews of the award-winning Manor Imagine (see page 32) and Wessex’s stunning Elite at Osmington Park, in Dorset (page 132). Enjoy the issue!

october coverAlexAlex Melvin

 

 

 

Alex Melvin, Editor
Email: phhc.ed@kelsey.co.uk

 October 2015 - buy it here

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Residential parks galore!

september blogI’m not usually prone to excessive bouts of excitement but this month’s bumper issue, which includes a free copy of our annual Residential Parks Guide - the UK’s biggest and best printed listings directory of residential mobile home sites - has made me almost giddy with anticipation.

At PH&HC, we love adding value to your monthly magazine so this September’s issue is a real highlight. The Residential Parks Guide lists more than 1,350 of Britian’s best park home estates. It’s split into handily colour-coded regional sections so you can start planning your park search right away! It’s also packed full of lots of informative features, ranging from profiles of different sites to expert tips and advice on choosing a home, specialist refurbisher, insurer and much more. In short, it’s an absolutely indispensible guide to everything connected to the mobile home world.

But as well as that, there’s also plenty to get excited about in the issue proper. Don’t say we never give you anything as, on top of our Residential Parks Guide, one lucky reader will also get the chance to win a fantastic air-conditioning unit from the kindly souls at Cool2Day, worth a cool £2,000. After the oppressive humidity we’ve had to suffer this summer, an opportunity like that’s definitely more than just hot air! Turn to page 102 for your chance to enter the competition.

But if you’re not fortunate enough to win our state-of-the-art air-con unit, we guarantee you’ll still be a winner in another way. We’ve teamed up with the green-fingered experts at Thompson & Morgan to offer every reader £21-worth of free pansies - turn to page 101 to find out how to claim your colourful gift.

There’s no denying that residential parks take top billing this month though. As well as those featured and listed in our Guide, we’ve also got a brace of full-length park reviews from sites in the south-west; Dorset and Gloucestershire to be precise (see page 10). Throw in a top Bedfordshire site for good measure (see page 24) and you’ll be in park heaven this September!

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to draw your attention to the upcoming Caravan Extravaganza, arriving in Hull this month. Hundreds of park homes, lodges and static caravans will be transported to East Yorkshire from 5 to 6 Septemnber. We’ve got a special nine-page preview on page 62 that will ensure you get the most out of your show experience. Enjoy the issue!

september coverAlexAlex Melvin

 

 

 

Alex Melvin, Editor
Email: phhc.ed@kelsey.co.uk

 

 September 2015 - buy it here

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Stoneleigh love!

august blogAfter four heady days at Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire, for the recent World of Park and Leisure Homes Show, it’s hard not to come away feeling excited about all the beautiful new homes you’ve seen and also proud to be associated with such an innovative and dynamic UK industry.

The Park Home & Holiday Caravan crew took a stand at the event, right by the main entrance, so we were lucky enough to meet almost every one of the thousands of visitors who streamed through the gates throughout the event. Almost everybody I spoke to waxed lyrical about the quality of park homes and lodges on display and the wealth of information available on each stand. Big thanks must go to show organisers Jo and Pat Turner for once again putting on such a special event. If you weren’t fortunate enough to attend, or you simply want to re-live the brilliance of it all, you can read all about it on page 30.

One of the most stylish and impressive of all the 50 homes on display at Stoneleigh was undoubtedly the Omar Anniversary (turn to page 40 for a full review). The specially constructed model was launched as part of Omar’s 50th anniversary celebrations, hence the name. It certainly caught the eye as it was voted ‘best park home at Stoneleigh’ by showgoers in a hotly contested category. Omar unveiled this sublime model to much fanfare, cake and champagne at special trade event on Thursday, 11 June and this event set the tone for the remainder of the show.

In fact, there was so much going on at the Stoneleigh show that I barely had time to catch my breath!  In a rare quiet moment, I sat down at the PH&HC stand with a cuppa and, by chance, caught the faint strains of 1970s girl group The Supremes’ upbeat hit, Stoned Love, emanating from a nearby radio. It was one of those times when a pop song - completely coincidentally - utterly mirrors your mood. If the title had only been ‘Stoneleigh love’ instead, it would been even better! Well done to all those who put such effort into ensuring the success of the show.  
I look forward to seeing what’s in store next year... and what Motown belter I can dedicate to it for 2016!

AUGUSt coverAlexAlex Melvin

 

 

 

Alex Melvin, Editor
Email: phhc.ed@kelsey.co.uk

 August 2015 - buy it here

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Eastern opportunity

Eastern opportunityFinding your perfect park can be a bit of a minefield. There are so many things to consider: do you want a park close to a town and city and all its amenities? Would you prefer a countryside retreat where you can hunker down and get away from it all? Is a park home on the coast your dream? What about family? How near or far do you need to be to your children or grand-children? Those are just a few of the questions you might be asking yourself if your busy plotting your park search. Believe me though, those initial thoughts are just the tip of the iceberg...

That’s why it’s always good to get a helping hand, especially from somebody who’s expert in the field! This month, we’re doing exactly that by helping a retired Baptist Minister and his wife take their first tentative steps in what will hopefully be a smooth and painless journey to finding their ideal park home estate.

Mike and Caroline Elcome want to escape London and find a top park site broadly equidistant to their six grandchildren, who are dotted around the country. They’ve settled on a region - Cambridgeshire - and left the rest to us! Turn to page 27 to find out which parks we shortlisted for the couple close to the historic university city of Cambridge. We’ve found some real corkers!
Staying in the east of England, we also travel to a lovely park in Norfolk where the residents cannot speak highly enough of the site or its owners (see page 10).

It’s not just the east of the UK that grabs our attention this issue though. In total, we visit and review a whopping seven sites. Cheshire, Devon and Cornwall also come under consideration, making your July issue one of the best this year!

While we’re talking about options for prospective park home buyers, I should also flag up this month’s legal feature. We look at the buying and selling process with the expert help of the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) and Turbervilles solicitors. There have been some key changes to the legislation over the past couple of years and our article - see page 84 - will put you firmly in the picture, without muddying the waters with lots of jargon and legalese.  Enjoy the issue!

july coverAlexAlex Melvin

 

 

 

Alex Melvin, Editor
Email: phhc.ed@kelsey.co.uk

 July 2015 - buy it here

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A world of opportunity!

A world of opportunity!As we enter June, excitement continues to build around this year’s industry showpiece event, The World of Park & Leisure Homes Show.

Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the ‘mobile home Mecca’ of Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire, to see the cream of the crop of the latest park homes and luxury leisure lodges.

On top of this hundreds of park representatives, alongside specialist suppliers and services, will be on hand; all of them spreading the word and proselytizing about this unique way of life!

Among the exhibitors will be the Park Home & Holiday Caravan team so please do come and say ‘hello’. I love meeting both regular readers and those newbies dipping a tentative maiden toe into the waters of this fabulous retirement option.

In readiness for the Stoneleigh Show, we’ve brought you an exclusive show guide that provides all the information you’ll need for the big event, which runs from 12 June to 14 June.

As well as the show guide, we’ve also got a park review for a cracking site close to the show. You’ll be bowled over by lovely Warwickshire site, Broadwell Woods, which boasts brand new park infrastructure and some superb new homes available to move into. We also visit a lovely Cambridgeshire park and a beauty in Dorset. Turn to page 10 to start your park adventure!

There will be plenty to admire at Stoneleigh, none more enticing than Pathfinder Homes’ sumptuous new Summit. This gorgeous model is our June issue cover star and we’ve also got a review of the lodge on page 32.

Finally, we love to keep you abreast of all the latest legal developments and make sure you get sound advice on all things park home-related. That’s why we’ve asked The Leasehold Advisory Service to tackle six of the most common issues that regularly affect the lives of park home owners (see page 69).

Enjoy the issue!

june coverAlexAlex Melvin

 

 

 

Alex Melvin, Editor
Email: phhc.ed@kelsey.co.uk

 June 2015 - buy it here

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Omar still nifty at 50!

Omar still nifty at 50!For any business to make it through 50 years is a significant achievement. But for a company to do this amid the backdrop of recession, austerity and general financial doom and gloom makes it even more impressive.

The Omar Group, which we feature in a special Golden Anniversary supplement this month, has not only survived, it has thrived. Only two years ago, the market-leading park home manufacturer snapped up rival firm Wessex and saved it from extinction. There aren’t many who can lay claim to such successes.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the Omar team. The company went into administration in 2009 but, happily, managed to haul itself back from the brink. The Suffolk-based company is now stronger than ever.

Paul Plezko, whose father - a Polish immigrant - founded the firm back in 1965, has lived through massive changes in the mobile home industry over the decades. In fact, he has lived his whole life in this unique, ‘cottage’ industry. Again, a really impressive feat. You can re-live this pioneering company’s journey from page 44.

What else is there to look forward to in your May issue? Answer: more parks and new home reviews than you can shake a stick at and much, much more!

We visit Pembrokeshire, in south-west Wales, and run the rule over a brace of brilliant residential park home estates. We also travel to the Fens, in Cambridgeshire, and meet the residents at a lovely Tingdene-owned park.

As well as Omar, we also review the all-new Wessex Gite and the Prestige Residence. Two very different homes with two things in common: innovation and originality in design. We hope you’ll be as impressed as we are!

On the legal front, we ask the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) to explain how the new site licensing laws - introduced under the 2013 Mobile Homes Act - will affect you. The 2013 Act is the second serious legislative change that Paul Plezko and the Omar team has worked through (the original Act dating back to 1983). I’m pretty sure they will be around for the next lot - whenever that may be.

may cover AlexAlex Melvin

 

 

 

Alex Melvin, Editor
Email: phhc.ed@kelsey.co.uk

 May 2015 - buy it here

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