Managing successful five star caravan parks on the scenic Cambrian Coast in Mid Wales runs in the family for the Freemans.
After a decade at Gwynedd Holiday Home Park in Tywyn, George and Menna Freeman have retired and handed over the reins to their son Jonathan and daughter-in-law Michaela.
George worked in the building trade while Menna worked in the ladies fashion department at Marks and Spencer in Shrewsbury for 22 years before taking on the manager’s role at Gwynedd Holiday Home Park, where they had previously owned a holiday home.
In 2009, Jonathan and Michaela followed in their footsteps when they, too, left Bomere Heath to become managers at Green Meadow Holiday Home Park, Clarach Bay, near Aberystwyth.
Jonathan previously worked as a buyer with an electrical supplies company while Michaela, who is originally from the Czech Republic, was a personal fitness instructor.
Now, in addition to managing the 80 pitches at Gwynedd Holiday Home Park, Jonathan and Michaela have also taken on 70 pitches at Glan-y-Don Holiday Home Park next door. Both parks are popular with owners from Shropshire and the West Midlands.
“When we were told that mum and dad were retiring a managers, we were given the opportunity to take over from them,” explained Jonathan. “We loved managing and developing Green Meadow where we made many friends, but the time was right for a new and bigger challenge.
“We are really looking forward to meeting all the holiday home owners on the parks now that the new season has arrived and there are exciting times ahead.”
Asked what first attracted him to caravan parks, he said with a wry smile: “It was dad’s fault! He and mum owned a caravan here at Gwynedd Holiday Home Park and they applied for the manager’s job when they heard it was becoming available. He wished he had made the move 20 years earlier.
“Because dad kept going on about how much he loved the job, we decided to apply for the post at Green Meadow when it came up. Where I worked previously, I looked out onto an industrial estate. Now I look out over the sea every day and it’s a fabulous place to live and work.
“Caravan parks are a place for people to escape to, somewhere they can truly relax and enjoy the views. We see people change from when they first buy a holiday home; you can almost see the stress of every day working life falling off them.”
When he’s not hard at work on the caravan parks, Jonathan enjoys his main hobby of photography and has had work published in The Times. He recently obtained a commission to take photographs at Crufts Dog Show for the second time and supplies his work to a photographic agency.
He also recently retired as a Mid Wales football referee, while Michaela is a qualified fitness instructor, having run courses at Aberystwyth University in recent years. She hopes to develop similar courses in Tywyn in the future.
Looking forward to a retirement cruise to the Norwegian Fiords this summer, George and Menna say they will still provide cover as relief managers for Salop Leisure in the future when needed.
“We thoroughly enjoyed our 10 years at Tywyn and made some very good friends on the park and in the local community,” said George, who still owns a caravan holiday home on Glan-y-Don Holiday Home Park. “I am sure Jonathan and Michaela will do very well because they have had a good grounding at Green Meadow and know how to use new technology.”
In retirement, he plans to spend more time in his garden and riding his Yamaha 1200 motorbike.