The Cellar  

Go Back   The Cellar > Images > Image of the Day

Image of the Day Images that will blow your mind - every day. [Blog] [RSS] [XML]

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-24-2009, 03:33 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
The future is unwritten
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 71,105
May 24, 2009: Ware Hall House

May Alice Savidge bought Ware Hall House in 1947, at the age of 36, to restore.

Quote:
Number 1 Monkey Row, Ware, Hertfordshire, had been built around 1450 for a wealthy monk as a 'hall house', a medieval arrangement in which the living space is attached to an open hall overlooked by a minstrel's gallery.
A self-taught home improvement enthusiast, May exposed the heavy oak beams that bore the marks of medieval carpenters and lifted crumbling lino to reveal wide, hand-cut floorboards.
She employed a builder to repair the roof, but all the rest of the work - including brick-laying, carpentry, re-glazing and stripping plaster from the ceilings and 20 layers of paper from the walls - she did with her own hands.


But England had other ideas...
Quote:
Then, in 1953, the council told her the house was to be demolished to make way for a road - an act of vandalism unthinkable today, now that ancient properties are listed and protected.
Battle began. May dug her heels in and resolved to save the building. For 15 years, she fought the council's plans, writing to them: 'If this little house is really in the way, I would rather move it and re-erect it than see it destroyed.'
So Ms Savidge dismantled the house, mostly by herself, labeling each piece of wood, brick, roof tile and trim... all this while still living in the house.
Quote:
So began a life of hardship. She had no electricity and worked by the light of Victorian paraffin lamps. She used an alarm clock to set herself targets each day, noting how many nails she extracted from oak beams per hour, as she dismantled the house and prepared for rebuilding.
She found a site in the seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk, and obtained planning permission and laid foundations. A lorry made the round trip to Norfolk 11 times to carry every part of the house.


Then came the big job, reassembling the house.
Quote:
Two years later, the framework was fixed to the foundations by a local carpenter and May started to infill the brickwork. She had no experience of brickwork, but was determined to lay every single brick perfectly.
It would be another eight years before the roof tiles were put in place and the property made watertight.
By the time she was into her 70s, however, May had moved in and the house stood proudly in its new gardens, each old oak beam in place, the brickwork nearly complete and many of the walls plastered.
~snip~
By now, however, she was running out of steam. In 1992, she finally installed a small wood-burning stove to heat the house, but was having difficulty climbing ladders and found cement work 'a bit heavy'.
On her death in 1993, just before reaching the age of 82, the house was still not finished. 'The walls were up and the roof was on, but the place was little more than a shaky shell,' says Adams, who was left the house in her aunt's will.
Here is the house finished.


So Ms Savidge didn't live to complete the house herself, but in a way she made it happen.
Quote:
A collector extraordinaire, May had filled her home until it looked like an overstocked curiosity shop. In the garden, nine sidesaddles languished, relics of a bygone age. Boxes of unworn wartime nurses' bonnets and May's service medals lay at the bottom of heavy trunks, stacked to ceiling height.
She kept packets of old-fashioned soap powder, Omo, Oxydol and the like, alongside bottles of J Collis Browne's Mixture, the Victorian cure-all.
There were thousands of train, bus and trolley bus tickets, and even the notes left by the milkman.
In 440 diaries, she listed every action she carried out each day, revealing a Britain now lost: a world of shillings and ounces, telegrams and typewriters.
~snip~
In tribute to her stoical aunt, Adams took on the project of finishing the house, and in the end it was May's hoarding instincts which breathed new life Ware Hall House. Adams sold May's memorabilia, raising funds to renovate the house, which she now runs as a bed and breakfast.
Through her extraordinary habits, May effectively financed the final building work from beyond the grave.
I'll leave it to you to decide if Ms Savidge was a stirling example of British pluck, or a crazy old broad that tilted windmills.

link
__________________
The descent of man ~ Nixon, Friedman, Reagan, Trump.
xoxoxoBruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 05:18 AM   #2
DanaC
We have to go back, Kate!
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 25,964
Marvellous. And..I'd say she was probably a little of each.
__________________
Quote:
There's only so much punishment a man can take in pursuit of punani. - Sundae
http://sites.google.com/site/danispoetry/
DanaC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 07:31 AM   #3
Fa-
Jotter of Notes
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11
flipping incredible, and all the more so in those days!
Fa- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 08:16 AM   #4
capnhowdy
Blatantly Homosapien
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,200
Phenomenal story. Great work, Bruce.
__________________
Please type slowly. I can't read very fast............... and no holy water, please.
capnhowdy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 09:54 AM   #5
Pie
Gone and done
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 4,808
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
I'll leave it to you to decide if Ms Savidge was a stirling example of British pluck, or a crazy old broad that tilted windmills.
You can't be the former without having the latter.
__________________
per·son \ˈpər-sən\ (noun) - an ephemeral collection of small, irrational decisions
The fun thing about evolution (and science in general) is that it happens whether you believe in it or not.
Pie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
classicman
barely disguised asshole, keeper of all that is holy.
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 23,401
Whatever/whichever she was, she was certainly an amazing woman.
__________________
"like strapping a pillow on a bull in a china shop" Bullitt
classicman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 12:05 PM   #7
Sheldonrs
Master Dwellar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 4,412
Or just a broad who's brother never let her play with his legos and Lincoln Logs.
__________________
Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and the world laughs AT you.
Sheldonrs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 12:15 PM   #8
capnhowdy
Blatantly Homosapien
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,200
Did they have those back then?
If they did you prolly had to walk 2 miles thru the snow, carrying a load of firewood to get to play with them.
__________________
Please type slowly. I can't read very fast............... and no holy water, please.
capnhowdy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 12:17 PM   #9
classicman
barely disguised asshole, keeper of all that is holy.
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 23,401
...uphill both ways.
__________________
"like strapping a pillow on a bull in a china shop" Bullitt
classicman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 12:23 PM   #10
Griff
still says videotape
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 26,813
Wonderful story. Thanks Bruce!
__________________
If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you.
- Louis D. Brandeis
Griff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 02:28 PM   #11
Hillrick
Ender of Vendors
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 44
Of course she did remarkable things...

She was a dog owner.
Hillrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 02:45 PM   #12
ham4art
Non-Newbie Sort
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Over the mountain
Posts: 6
I am getting used to seeing amazing stories on this site, but this takes the cake. This coming from a person who has toiled on their own home building project for over a decade.
ham4art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2009, 02:50 PM   #13
Griff
still says videotape
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 26,813
Quote:
Originally Posted by ham4art View Post
I am getting used to seeing amazing stories on this site, but this takes the cake. This coming from a person who has toiled on their own home building project for over a decade.
We've got a club here for that! footfootfoot and I are in similar situations.
http://www.janpetersondesigns.com/grifftopia/

Start a thread and post some pics if you like.
__________________
If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you.
- Louis D. Brandeis
Griff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2009, 09:41 AM   #14
dar512
dar512 is now Pete Zicato
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Chicago suburb
Posts: 4,968
Wow, Griff. I'd forgotten about your home-made home. If I neglected to say this before,
__________________
"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."
-- Friedrich Schiller
dar512 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:55 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.