Thanks Michael for offering us a bit of reminiscing!
“This week weave a tale around something from days of old.”
The house had been empty for some 20 years, and been sold more or less for a song as there was no electricity and it still had gas lighting, which actually worked!
Trying to work by Davy Lamp at night to get the house liveable was a project too much, so things had to be put on hold until the lighter evenings.
Rather than continue to pay out rent, the family decided to move into the house once the main utilities were connected. Electricity was easy enough as it was new to the property and the place had been completely wired on a council grant. Water was connected but a new tank and pipework for an upstairs bathroom was again courtesy of another grant.
New floorboards, a new roof and timbers, installation of a modest central heating system, everything practical was done, but in typical ‘cock up fashion’, the gas was another matter.
A gas official came to take away the meter that hadn’t been disconnected, then another turned up to fit the new meter that hadn’t been delivered, but sadly he could not disconnect or remove the old one. The guy who delivered the new meter eventually couldn’t fit it as he wasn’t qualified. Gone were the days when one Gas Fitter did it all.
Luckily the daughter worked for the gas board and got it all done on a gas escape.
They moved in with only 2 doors in place………. one at the front and one at the back………… and one bedroom with sleeping bags in it. In order to spare blushes and maintain privacy, anyone using the bathroom or loo had to sing, though the ladies used the upstairs loo and the men the one downstairs which was a converted coal store.
Room by room they got the house sorted, and as each was finished, so a new door was hung. It took over a year, each member of the family pulling together to make a home.
Sometimes they would sit in the dark around that Davy Lamp and remember the struggles they’d encountered, a time when the family were probably at their closest.
Sadly those days are now gone too.