Olympic gold winning pentathlete Dame Mary Peters was the guest of honour to officially open the a new retirement development in Oakham.
More than 50 people turned up to celebrate the opening of McCarthy and Stone’s Lonsdale Park complex, which consists of 43 one and two bedroom apartments.
Britain’s only gold medallist at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Dame Mary was on hand for the ribbon cutting process, and after regaling those present with tales from her colourful life, she took questions from the floor before talking to individuals.
Dame Mary, who is an ambassador for McCarthy and Stone , said: “I am of an age where I could move into such a development. I have been to more than 80 such openings in my role as an ambassador, and time and time again I hear from people who have taken the plunge that it is the best decision they have ever made.
“Every apartment offers the best comfort and security, giving extra peace of mind and opportunities to socialise.”
Sylvia Pryer, 74, bought the first flat in the complex, and moved in on January 17.
She said:“Initially I thought I wouldn’t get used to living in a flat, but I have been very surprised at how quickly I got used to it.
“What has really amazed me is that everyone here, whether they be construction staff, on-site staff or people living here, has been wonderful. Kindliness in giving a service is as important as the service provided, and my experience here has been superb.
“Now that more people have started moving in, the dynamic of the place is just getting better and better.”
The building was formerly a boarding school called Lonsdale House for students of Rutland County College, and had been derelict for many years before construction began in January 2017.