A family owned residential park

Meet the Owners
of Marston Edge

Hello, I’m Michael Brain, and with my wife, Jeanette, I own Marston Edge Residential Park Homes, where our aspiration – since we first had the idea to do this – has always been to create a safe, thriving and friendly community, in a genuinely pleasant part of Warwickshire.

Marston Edge is six miles from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon, nestled closely to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is Meon Hill, signalling the start of the Cotswolds, and though I’m biased, it really is a lovely area to live.

The site was previously owned by the local ‘Bobby’, who sadly died a few years ago. Jeff was once a colleague of mine, as I am a former Police officer, and through that, I visited the site many times over the years for a cuppa and chat with my friend, and knew the site as a one-time 5.85-acre nursery, and then for a quarter of a century, as busy and popular Camping and Caravan Club site .

Following Jeff’s passing in 2015, the opportunity to invest in this lovely site proved too good to resist, and me and Jeanette decided to buy. By this time, I’d retired, and we had plans to extend the Camping and Caravan business.

But sometimes opportunity knocks, and you have to seize the moment, and a couple of years later we had the opportunity to develop the site into a over 50’s Residential Park Home site. Initially the plans were for 56 units, but we reduced this to 47 as we wanted to achieve openness and country views for all residents – in fact, at least 25 per cent of the site is open space and orchard.

Both me and Jeanette would describe ourselves as ‘community people’ who love interaction with anyone and everyone, and the Residential Park Home opportunity fitted perfectly with what we most enjoy.

We are also proud of the area where we live. Indeed, we’ve lived locally all of our lives, both having been born and raised in Stratford upon Avon. My father was a dairy farmer at Church Farm, Shottery – next to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – where, from the tender age of 11, I was milking cows by hand. On completing my education, I worked locally as a Master Butcher, an Ambulance driver – or Paramedic, as we know them today – and a Police Officer.

Since 2001 I have served the community as an elected Parish, District and County Councillor, representing up to 16 villages. I have also volunteered at the local hospice, and still serve as a School Governor and Trustee. Jeanette has worked as a hairdresser, and worked for many years as a Local Government Officer at Stratford on Avon District Council.

Our plan with Marston Edge is to develop a truly family business, and to that end we brought our son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Kelly, and their three children, to live at Marston Edge, and they have the same ethos as we do, so I know the future will be in good hands. The whole family love the country life, and thanks to our large orchard, I have discovered an enthusiasm for brewing homemade cider, which – much to their delight – I share with our residents. Indeed some of the residents come and help me with the process, and it generates a terrific community spirit.

Our youngest grandson, four year old Harry, has swiftly adapted to the country life, and become a junior entrepreneur in the process: he now has eight chickens and sells the eggs to residents. He’s already established himself as a popular personality around the site.

And that is exactly what I want. Harry is the long term future, but it’s Ben will soon be taking over the day to day management of the site, as I now suffer with Parkinson’s Disease and Fibromyalgia. I’ll be there to hand out advice, if needed, but I’ll be spending more time enjoying the company and banter of the residents.

We feel very fortunate to be the owners of Marston Edge where people can live in peace and tranquillity in a unique environment. And will do for many years to come. One day, I hope my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren will look back and say: “our grandparents established this business in 2016…” and be as proud of it then as I am today.