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Maggie & Ted
Maggie and town-planner husband Ted were the first to move into The Wintles. They live in a three-storey house with Pat’s mother, Phyllis.

We lived in Dorset,’ explains Maggie, ‘but we already knew Bishop’s Castle as we have old friends who live here. They’re also in town planning, and they suggested we might find this new development interesting.

‘We came up in November 2003 and saw The Wintles one Sunday. We thought it was wonderful, and realised that we could actually afford to buy one. We’ve always like the Scandinavian use of wood in house-building, and their insulation and high energy ratings. The design of The Wintles houses is very good - very different and unusual.

‘We slept on the idea, then went home and Ted asked his boss if he could work from home a couple of days a week. That wasn’t a problem, so we came back on the Wednesday and put down a deposit.

‘We saw the concept house and decided to buy it overnight,’ says Ted, who now commutes to Dorset once a week. ‘We are not environmentall evangelists but we were impressed by this completely clean, dust-free house that is energy-efficient.’

‘People thought we were mad to make such an impulse purchase,’ says Maggie. ‘We took quite a gamble, but it all worked. We loved Dorset, but this has given us a whole new area to explore. And Dorset was so busy and congested in comparison.’

Ted and Maggie love their new house. ‘When Ted’s away in Dorset,’ says Maggie, ‘he always says, ‘It’s lovely knowing I’m coming home to The Wintles.’’

‘Living here has exceeded our expectations,’ she continues. ‘It’s so light and comfortable, with a nice ambient temperature. The heat exchange system is very good - it always feels warm when you come into the house. We have a log-burning stove for the winter evenings.’

Ted says, ‘We would never go back to the anonymous city life with plastic frames and radiators on the walls. For the first time in our lives, we know our neighbours and for most of the week we never use a car. This is life as it should be lived.’

They have also enjoyed becoming part of the wider community of Bishop’s Castle. Maggie says, ‘We’ve met a lot of people here by doing things like joining the walking group and the film society. I volunteer for the Bishop’s Castle Heritage Resource Centre, and I’m on the management committee. There’s a lot going on here, and the people are very welcoming. The Wintles is very much part of the town community.’

Ted and Maggie have two grown-up daughters, who love coming to visit them. They call it ‘the rural retreat.’ And they still see their old friends from Dorset.

‘It’s a whole new change of life we never expected to have,’ says Maggie.