Couple follow French dream
A COUPLE from Hightown have said 'au revoir' to Spen and 'bonjour' to France as they begin a new life running a campsite in the heart of the Limousin.
Sharron and Steve Mason-Croft have sold their business, Big Old Doors, in Cleckheaton and moved to France with their four-year-old son Harvey.
Their new home is in what is affectionately known as France's Lake District – an area they both fell in love with while on holiday several years ago.
"We had a 10 year plan to do this," said Sharron.
"Steve has three children from a previous marriage and we wanted to wait until they were grown up before we made the move.
"The 10 years were up last year so we decided to go for it.
"We first came across the Moulin de la Geneste campsite in 2005 but it wasn't the right time to move. Last March we sold our house, went over to France and found it was still for sale.
"We fell in love with it because it's so quiet and tranquil and the site even has its own lake. And what better place for Harvey to grow up in?"
The couple are already working hard to get the site ready for the new season and will be adding log cabins to the five chalets which are already in place.
"We're also putting some special tree houses in which will be pretty luxurious," said Sharron.
"And of course we have pitches for those with tents.
"We're hoping to be open for May 1, and in our first year we'll stay open until September. Then, once the log cabins are up – which are really well insulated – we can open all year round."
The couple, who enjoyed a French-themed party with family and friends before they set off, said they were relishing the challenge.
"Of course it will be a major change and we know it will be hard work, but we enjoy working together and it's in some of the most beautiful countryside you could ever see," said Sharron.
"We both love France – and French food and wine – and Harvey will enjoy settling in with his new friends at the village school.
"Of course, we'll miss family and friends. But our business in Cleckheaton is now in the very capable hands of my mum and stepdad, Pat and Mike Garner, and so many people have said they want to come out and spend their holidays with us that we'll probably see more of them than we would if we were still in England!"
For more information on their campsite, visit www.lageneste.net.