A PENSIONER who spent 18 years working in a Swindon office is now moving into the retirement living complex built on the same spot.

Sheila Guyatt spent much of her working life at the Burmah Castrol site near Pipers Way before retiring in 1990 and is now settling into a new home in McCarthy Stone’s Gilbert Place properties near Wakefield House.

The 87-year-old said: “I absolutely loved my job. I was very lucky to be the PA in central services as well as the legal departments, so I had a really varied role and no two days were ever the same.

“It didn’t really feel like going to work in Wakefield House – it was such a beautiful building with some lovely restaurants, views, and decor that it felt more like going to a hotel each day. “When the time came for me to retire, the team threw me a fantastic leaving party and gave me some beautiful parting gifts.

“I have such fond memories of my time working there, that when I saw the new apartments being built at Gilbert Place, it felt like fate, like it was my destiny to come back here.

“I was living on my own and beginning to become quite lonely, so I needed somewhere that would offer me the chance to make new friends, but still provide the independence I need.

Since moving into Gilbert Place, which is made up of one and two-bedroom apartments exclusively designed for the over 70s, Sheila has been enjoying getting to know the other homeowners.

She added: “I have a partner, Tony, who I’ve been with for eight years - he has a dependent son, so they have their own place together just up the road. We do see each other a lot, but I was really keen to make some new friends, so that I had some company when Tony isn’t around.

“I’ve even managed to reconnect with an old friend I hadn’t seen in 60 years who lives here too, which is just amazing! We recognised each other instantly and have now become friends again after all this time.”

Getting to know her neighbours isn’t the only thing Sheila does in her spare time.

She is also a very active member of the local community, having been a volunteer at the Lawn Community Centre ever since it opened over 20 years ago.