Well, I’ve been quiet for a while but, with the exception of the main lock-down weeks, there has been some internal action.
At last, the 1st and 2nd floors have been repaired with beautiful new wood; however, where the old wood survived, the planks and joists have been re-used and conserved.
The ground floor living room and kitchen are also finished so all of the structural stuff is complete. There’s still plenty to do though and George is creating a snagging list of jobs that need to be done. He’s been much more active since moving into the top floor and not having to spend an extra two hours in his car at each end of a working day.
The workmen have finished the flood-wall along Church Street so the activity I see at the front has been transformed from the chaos of the last few months. The noisy machinery that was hacking-up and replacing the road and pathway has been replaced with the relative quiet of the feet and voices of people along with the usual trading traffic that frequented the road before the works started.
I have to say that it’s great to get my wonderful view back that enables me to see across the harbour, up to the high bridge and downstream towards the swing bridge. The boats appear and disappear twice a day but their masts are always visible and I can hear the wind disturbing the rigging even when I can’t see the boat.
There’s also been a lot of activity at Parkol Marine where a couple of boats have been launched over the last three months and I could see the compass calibration operations as they were manoeuvred in the harbour.
We’ve had a couple of hiccups regarding incompatible paint and two of my lime-rendered walls needed scraping back and repainting. We’ve had visitors who are owners of similar properties with regard to lime-rendering, their advice has been priceless and has saved much time removing the need to experiment.
My front door has been replaced with one that is an exact copy of the old one which was just an internal door with some planks nailed to it. The new one was hand-built by Andy Granger who had the plastic windows that were a ‘feature’ of the old one remade in hand-blown-glass. All of the metal features are being renovated, painted and added to the new door. There’s still some debate on the colour of the new door but the artefacts will remain black.
The slate floor in the front room and kitchen went down like a dream and is being treated with some sealant to protect it and enhance the beauty that lies below the surface. Andy, the joiner is busy boxing-in the boiler and tank together with some piping but he’s maintaining access to some of the dials and gauges so that experts and tradespeople can get at them in the future. The plumbing is a far cry from the piping that was a feature of my old self.
Rob Stokes has finished all of the second-fix electrical work. I now have safe, embedded, modern wiring together with fixtures and fittings that are appropriate to my age but safe and functional. The kitchen has a new cooker and hob fitted with storage units like the ones that were originally constructed when the rear extension was built over a hundred years ago.
The modern, dysfunctional fireplace has been removed to reveal my original sandstone fireplace and a new stove fitted that closely reflects my original one from many years ago. The leaking back-boiler has been removed and the water damage rectified. The new boiler is electric and will not require a fire to be lit to have hot water. This was always an issue especially in the summer when the fire would be lit in the late evening and burn through the night to heat the water for the weekly family baths usually on a Sunday and wash day which was always on a Monday. The new stove will only be required in the colder months and will look really good at Christmas when a real fire adds to the seasonal atmosphere. My occupants would sit semi-comatose following the Christmas meal and a few glasses of beer or mead staring at the flames as they danced in my grate.
I’m thrilled that we’re heading towards completion but there’s still a fair amount of patching to the rendering on the front and some minor work over the new lintels to be done at the back then a coat of paint on the front and yes, it will be yellow!
Whitby Civic Society has suspended the open day this year so I won’t be available to view until the current crisis is over but George is determined to show the people of Whitby and beyond the work that has been done and I look forward to that too.
UPDATE: WCS are planning a virtual open day, please click the button below if you would like more information:
I’ll update again soon.
Take care…LYC x