Heather Blemings is the sales coordinator and head of procurements at Gipping Homes. Here we find out a bit more about why she was drawn to The Bartlet development and why Suffolk will always hold a place in her heart.
What are your links to the area?
I am born and bred in Suffolk. My father was an agricultural contractor in Framsden and I was raised as a country girl with old-fashioned values and a love of the land.
My husband Peter has lived in Stowmarket all his life and we both share a love of Suffolk which is a truly magical place.
In fact, wherever we go in the world, we have never found a place like it. We are just as happy to pack up a suitcase to return as we are to pack up to go on holiday in the first place.
Why The Bartlet?
I have a unique connection with The Bartlet. Around 22 years ago my father was a patient there at the time when it was a convalescent home.
He was in his 60s and suffered an aneurysm. He was treated at Ipswich Hospital and then sent to Felixstowe for a 12 weeks stay to recuperate.
I can vividly remember visiting him there, sharing a cup of tea on his balcony and looking out at the ships.
He was a true believer in the healing power of the sea and I think his stay at the hospital was one of the happiest and most relaxing times of his life. The Bartlet was instrumental in his recovery.
And when we were given the opportunity to redevelop the building, I felt like it was destiny.
I remember the day we first went in to assess the work that needed to be done. I walked through the corridors to where his ward used to be and it felt like he was telling me we had made the right decision.
I feel like I have a role to play in preserving its history. And making it a place where other people can feel the healing benefits of the water will doubtless be one of the biggest achievements of my career.
What’s your favourite thing about the building?
I get the most incredible feeing as I drive up towards it. It feels welcoming. And then you catch that first glimpse of the sea and that is breath taking.
I have a long career which has involved many different roles. For part of it I worked as a brick remedial specialist.
Because of my knowledge and expertise in that area, the red brick work and the Martello bricks of The Bartlet structure really excite me.
Why did you choose to buy one of the apartments yourself?
I think the very fact that we have purchased a property within The Bartlet shows that we’ve very much bought into the vision we hoped to create.
We love it so much here that we wanted to be part of it.
The sea views, the incredible history of the building and the fact that our family have a connection to its past mean a lot to me.
It’s a place where we feel happy and, as we head towards our retirement years, I imagine it’s going to become very important to us.
What is your role at The Bartlet?
I am in charge of the sales process and materials procurement as well as helping Peter with some of the design issues. We think attention to detail is the key to getting it right. But we also think that, as a family business, the personal approach is what matters most.
What do you do for fun?
We are not all work and no play. Both my husband and I enjoy golf and there is a course within easy reach of The Bartlet.
We are also keen gardeners and grow our own vegetables.
On top of that we like to walk – especially near the coast. On the recent bank holiday weekend we took a lovely stroll from The Bartlet right up to Languard Point and took the foot ferry to Harwich for a spot of lunch. It was just glorious.
We also spend a lot of time with our grandchildren.
Tell us a bit about your family
Between us we have four children and five grandchildren who are aged between four and seven months.
They are our absolute pride and joy.
We took four of the grandkids to the Suffolk Show the other week which was huge fun.
I think they adore us having an apartment in Felixstowe now. It means they have a beachside base – a place where they can form many happy memories.
Do you have a favourite childhood memory of your own?
I have hundreds. Suffolk is a truly wonderful place to grow up.
I can remember loving the fireworks at Aldeburgh each year and boating on the Mere at Thorpeness.
But my happiest memories are of jumping the waves at the seaside.
Perhaps this is why I feel drawn to the water, why I adore the beach and why The Bartlet is everything I love about Suffolk in one spot.