Starting work at Number 1

At last we are the “proud” owners of Number 1 Fronwen Terrace, and over the last couple of weekends we have begun the mammoth task of making it habitable for humans.

Here’s the kitchen after lifting the lino to reveal the slime and mould…

Revolting kitchen about to be smashed up

I removed the whole lot, along with most of the skin on my knuckles.  The quarry tile floor is in good nick, and we think we’ll leave that in situ.

We’re not so sure about the range – a “Chatton Special” from the 1930’s (we think). It’s lovely, but has a little damage and rust and may not be recoverable. We’ll take advice on this, but I hope we can keep it (losing the fireplace, which is not so lovely).

Chatton Special range

We have inherited a fine range of derelict sheds. The most heavy-duty of these was integrated into the house structure via some Heath Robinson carpentry and excessive use of roofing felt. Here’s a part of it being dismembered – note the use of the tin can as roof support, among all the other random craps.

Why support a roof properly when you can use tin cans?

This shed was all pretty weird - very solidly built, but not high enough to stand up in. Two small child’s bells, endless hooks and pieces up string tied between them, net curtains, and a secret compartment under the floorboards, which, instead of the anticipated treasure, contained endless takeaway trays, margarine tubs, rusty pots and pans, half an old fireplace, and a Gollywog jam jar.  I’ve removed the rotten front wall and the bit that joined the house, and it now a rather nice kind of gazebo or perhaps log store. But OMG the spiders!

Spooky old shed

Another liability we have taken on is the collapsing boundary wall, which has been threatening to come down into the lane for months. We decided to take down the top half, reducing the risk of overall collapse, loss of limbs, children, cars etc.

Bad wall bites the dust

Crispin removing wall

Inside, we’ve removed all the horrid carpets and lino, and started stripping walls. Here’s the runner up to the top floor, about to go.

Stairway to heaven

The garden is horrific, apart from the lawn area which has been maintained in reasonable nick. The rest appears to have been used as an intensive ivy farm combined with kitchen midden.

In amongst this are all kinds of wonders, bit of wire fence, broken glass, rusty buckets, a ruined greenhouse, brambles, more margarine tubs, etc etc. But also some rhubarb plants that are producing lovely red shoots.

The kids helped rediscover the back gate, which was buried in years of ivy. Here it is actually opening.


Robin helped with the bonfires, and we must have burned a couple of tons of scrub.

The electrician (Jeremy) arrived this evening and managed to get the lights back on, plus a few sockets, so the hoovering and lawn-mowing can soon commence.

Here’s me after a day of filling, scraping, lifting, sweeping, and general skirmishing with grime and dereliction.

Filthy Crispin

We have now over-filled a skip, and we are pretty pooped.