Monday, 17 December 2007

My first Fun Monday!

This week's Fun Monday is being hosted by kitten and here's what she wants from us -

I think it would be neat to hear about the story behind your home and the road you live on. It doesn't have to be historical, maybe just something that stands out to you. It would be nice to have pictures to go with your little story. I also would like to know who has the oldest house. Whoever has the oldest house will get a little Christmas treat from little ole me.

I was fortunate that a change in my role at work last year coincided with the availability of a staff cottage. This meant that just over a year ago I picked up the keys to my tied cottage. The place was a shambles quite frankly as, although someone had been living in it, the previous tenant refused to have anything done to it whilst he lived in it and so nothing had been done for over 30 years and it needed complete modernisation. Fortunately Himself is very well-qualified in the DIY business as it's what he does for a living so he did most of the work himself. We had to replace rotten floor joists, get central heating and new plumbing installed and generally bring the place back up to standard that was comfortable. it was great beig able to choose a new kitchen and bathroom...and have someone else pick up the bill!

We're not entirely clear about it's history. We know there has been a building on the site since at least 1871, when my current employers took charge of the land. We can also presume that the cottage had a thatched roof as it is called Thatched Cottage.

In the early 1890s, the cottage was leased to the Ladies of the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club for use as a clubhouse. The photograph below shows them standing in what is now part of my back garden. I'm not sure if you can make it out but behind the ladies to the right of the picture is a section of darker colored brick...that is now my lounge window and our garden fence runs from just to the right of that porch.

You can just see the side of the porch in this picture here

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Ladies used the property as a Clubhouse until 1932. Once they vacated, the property was split into two cottages for use by the staff working on the Commons. In the mid-70s, the internal layout of the two cottages changed again when the master bedroom of my cottage was incorporated into the adjoining cottage as the member of staff living there had two children and needed the extra room.

The Cottage is tiny but it is, in my opinion, in the best location on the Common. It's remote and quiet and, despite living within 7 miles of Central London, we could be in the middle of nowhere. We love it here and it really feels like home. The only down side is that, being a tied cottage, I can't stay here once I retire. But that's a way down the road yet!

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