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Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - dramatic discoveries in "the mother-in-law's bedroom"

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 15 June 2019

The room next to where I sit right now is not part of the original house. It was added on in the 18th century and together with the room above was once, I believe, the servants accomodation. For the past sixty years – or more – it has been termed the annexe and treated as a seperate property, boarded apart from the main house. That boarding was removed and so the annexe has been reunited with the main house. It is where my mother in law may one day reside. With that in mind I am cracking on with its restoration and what I have discovered in the past 24 hours is shocking.

Yesterday I removed the carpet which, though not as vile as the living room carpet below, was fairly horrid. It is now in the third skip I am in the process of filling. Underneath are tiles, in perfect condition and, I think, from the original build. Why hide them?

It got better still. In each room where I start work removing layers of hideous wallpaper I do a sample on each wall to see what lies underndeath. Tackling the far wall next to a hideous fireplace which can only be removed when the listed buildings folk give me the all clear, I unearthed plasterboard. The Mrs urged me to leave it at that. But I have been trained by Brokerman Dan to investigate and so removed it all to reveal, an ancient glass fronted cupboard and set of drawers. They will need stripping from the thick paint that prior owners used with gay abandon, for inter alia, sealing up sash windows. But the shelving and drawers inside are clearly very old. Why on earth would anyone hide them. Next up, examining the structure of the original fireplace. What fun. 

The Welsh hovel is a gift that keeps on giving.


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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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