Beryl trumps her American dream with an East Devon retirement

Beryl Tushingham at home in Ottery St Mary

Beryl Tushingham has settled in Ottery St Mary after a life full of travel - Credit: McCarthy Stone

Beryl Tushingham has lived in many beautiful places all over the world, from Canada to California, but it wasn’t until she moved across the Atlantic from New York State to Ottery St Mary that she was able to find her perfect home.

She is now settled in at Tumbling Weir Court and is excited about her next adventure here in East Devon.

UK-born Beryl, who is 94, first moved abroad in 1952 when her husband served in the Canadian Navy as a lieutenant commander, shortly after the Second World War.

The couple settled in Canada for 10 years before heading to America, where they enjoyed moving across the states – from California to New Jersey and finally, New York State. After her husband died in 1980, Beryl returned to England, where she lived in Wiltshire with her family, before going back to live the American dream once more in the pretty colonial village of Kinderhook in New York State in 2013. 

But Beryl always knew she would want to return back to the UK to be closer to her family. While she enjoyed her years in America, the climate in north New York State could be fierce; the long, icy cold winters and unbearably hot summers became too much for her. On top of that, American politics was becoming increasingly turbulent and the impact of Covid-19 was difficult to cope with, so Beryl made the decision to return to England. 

Her daughter, Susan, who lives near Cullompton, searched for retirement developments and found McCarthy Stone’s Tumbling Weir Court. The development was the perfect fit for Beryl as it allowed her to continue living an independent lifestyle but with the peace of mind that she always had help on hand if she needed it. 

When the time came for Beryl to journey back to England, it certainly wasn’t without its challenges. 

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She explained: “My furniture was delayed in the channel for weeks as the port at Southampton was very busy, so when I first arrived at the development the team at Tumbling Weir Court had to rally around and gather some furniture for me to use for the first couple of months, which I was really grateful for. 

“Amazingly, when everything finally arrived in January, it was in pristine condition and my piano didn’t even need retuning! 

“I was also delighted that Tumbling Weir Court is a pet friendly development, so I was able to bring my beloved tabby cat, Sylvie, to start our new life in England together. However, due to the various Covid-19 disruptions she somehow managed to end up in Amsterdam! We had to bring her back to Devon via courier. I was extremely worried at the time, but thankfully she’s now settled into life in England. 

“Luckily, I was able to enjoy the comforts of business class, so my journey was definitely more relaxed than poor Sylvie’s, even if we did end up landing in Birmingham instead of Bristol because of the flight restrictions!”

Beryl moved to Tumbling Weir Court in November last year.

Now that she is settled into her new home she has been able to reflect on her first few months. She has received a huge amount of support from the development’s house manager, Moya Catney, and is looking forward to being a part of the community at the development once the lockdown restrictions ease. 

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