Date: March 2018


  • Sales & marketing suite for new retirement village at Wood Norton near Evesham in Worcestershire officially opened
  • John Poulter - born there in 1927, cuts the ribbon
  • Construction of the village on schedule to open early 2019

Richmond Villages, part of Bupa, which designs, develops and operates premium retirement villages across the UK has opened the sales & marketing suite for its eighth village, now under construction at Wood Norton, Worcestershire.  Once completed it will provide 107 homes for those over 55, and a 60-bed care home.

John Poulter and his family outside
The South Lodge gates in the 1930s

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John Poulter, today, outside
the same gates

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Mrs Poulter holding baby John in 1927 outside
The South Lodge

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John Poulter, outside The South Lodge, 2018
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Baby John outside
The South Lodge porch

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John Poulter with his daughter, Elizabeth, outside The South Lodge entrance porch at the official opening
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Mr & Mrs Poulter with baby John in 1927
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John Poulter and his brother Gerard
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John Poulter officially opens The South Lodge
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John Poulter cutting the ribbon accompanied by Paul Brady, village manager
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Richmond Wood Norton’s The South Lodge
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The new sales & marketing suite is located in The South Lodge within the grounds of the new village and was officially opened by 90-year old John Poulter, who was born in the lodge in 1927. He continued to live there until he was 10 and has fond childhood memories.

On stepping back into what had been his home 79 years ago, John said: “It was a wonderful childhood, and I just loved the architectural beauty of the Lodge and the adjoining Golden Gates; I’d very happily live here again.  Richmond Villages has done a great job in restoring the building, and I very much looking forward to the re-hanging of the historic gates once they have been refurbished.”

Philippa Fieldhouse, managing director of Richmond Villages, said: “I can’t think of a more fitting person to re-open The South Lodge than someone who has such a strong affinity to the building.  It’s such a wonderful story, and we are so grateful to John for sharing his memories with us.”

Located in a beautiful hillside location overlooking the Avon valley and surrounded by mature woodland, the new retirement village will occupy the site of the former BBC training college.

The new £40 million Richmond Wood Norton is within easy reach of the M5 and M42, between the riverside towns of Evesham and Pershore and close to Stratford-upon-Avon, Worcester and The Cotswolds.

Due to open in early 2019, it will comprise 61 one and two-bedroom Village apartments offering an independent lifestyle, 46 Village suites (one and two bedroom) which come with a ‘hotel style’ package to help with all daily chores, and a 60-bed care home.

The belief at Richmond Villages is that retirement should be enjoyable and safe, and a positive, sociably active and aspirational stage in life to look forward to.  The village will feature all the facilities that have made Richmond’s other villages so popular, including a wellness spa with swimming pool and gym, hair and beauty salon, a library, activities and IT room, café bar, restaurant with private dining plus a 12-seat cinema, all set within beautifully landscaped grounds.

Richmond Villages’ own drivers will run regular scheduled shopping trips and excursions, while the activities team will ensure there is a wide choice of exciting and varied social events. The company’s own on-site domiciliary care team provides as much or as little help as is needed, 24 hours a day.

The new marketing suite is open daily from 10.00am – 4.00pm.

It can offer those who might be considering moving to a retirement village full information on the suites and apartments available to purchase, together with detailed floor plans and interactive computer images (CGIs) of the village.  Details about the facilities, services, activities and recreation are also available.

Village suites will start from £231,000 and Village apartments from £307,000.  Off plan sales are already being taken, with 10 reservations made to date.

“The sales and marketing suite will give people a real flavour for what living at Richmond Wood Norton will be like, and ensure they get all the information they need across all aspects of Richmond retirement living,” says Paul Brady, village manager.

The village is at: Richmond Wood Norton, Evesham Road, Wood Norton, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4TY Tel: 01386 897300

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Biography details of John Poulter:

  • Date of birth – 3rd September 1927
  • Married to Patricia
  • He has a sister, Gillian born in 1929 & a brother, Gerard born in 1937
  • He has a son and daughter, and one grandchild
  • Occupation – a farmer all his life
  • Recollections from moments in history: in 1939 he remembers his mother, Kathleen, being issued with a gas mask and who burst into tears as this brought back memories of the Great War
  • John went to Bristol School, a boarding school for boys, and has childhood memories of playing in the woods and in and around the bear pits so never wandered too far from home
  • He used to cycle to school when he was at Green Hill School, Evesham and then went onto Prince Henry Grammar for Boys Queens Rd, Evesham
  • He was an active member of Evesham Boy Scouts and was taken to scout camp at Abbey Manor by the scout master in an old Morris 8, regarded as a real treat
  • He currently lives at Willersey near Broadway

About The South Lodge:

  • John’s parents lived in The South Lodge as tenants of Wood Norton Estate
  • They moved away in 1939 because the BBC moved into Wood Norton and required South Lodge as well
  • They then moved to Wickhamford, Evesham
  • His parents rented a farm in 1949, and purchased a farm in Wickhamford in 1953

About Richmond Villages

One of the pioneers in bringing the retirement village concept to the UK, Richmond Villages has been designing, building and operating its own villages for almost 20 years.  The company already operates seven luxury retirement villages located in Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.  Its new village at Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire has recently opened, and its eighth village at Wood Norton in Worcestershire is now under construction.

Richmond Villages is one of the leaders in the retirement living sector and has an established reputation for the provision of quality service and care and won numerous awards.

For further information about Richmond Villages, please visit or telephone 0800 0987 094

About Bupa UK

Bupa Care Services: Bupa has some 130 care homes, as well as seven Richmond Villages with four new care homes and a new retirement village under construction.
The business also comprises: Bupa UK Insurance, the leading health insurer in the UK with 2.3 million customers; Bupa Dental UK, a major dental provider operating more than 430 practices; Bupa Health Services, health clinics and wellness centres; and Bupa Cromwell Hospital a complex care hospital in London.

For more information, visit

To download hi-res images via the LawsonClarke PR online press office go to: Richmond Villages image gallery

Issued by:                                           Jeremy Clarke/Tracey Bretherton
LawsonClarke PR
                                                          Tel: 01285 658844
Ref: RV08/2018