Thinking about places

 

It was my family history writing group this afternoon and what I thought we might like to think about was buildings…

Today we are thinking about places, especially buildings – buildings we have lived in, buildings our family have lived or worked in, or buildings which have some strong connection, for example a church, a farm, a mill or factory, a shop… any built edifice! We will be remembering, imagining what it looked like, maybe what it smelled like, what sounds you might hear, the ambient temperature, maybe what happened there which makes it vivid in our minds.
Subject for next meeting (this is completely optional!! It is only a suggestion!!) – write about a place you remember, or have visited, or have researched which has a strong or important or significant connection to you or your family or your history.

I came across this which I wrote about four years ago and which I might share with the group at the next meeting in May:

My mother’s family moved from a small village in Bedfordshire to a small village in Cambridgeshire a couple of years before the war, and continued to live there for twenty or so years. The village they moved to was Harston, just south of Cambridge, and the house was called Newton View. The next village was Newton, and I guess maybe at one time it could be seen from the house.

My family only rented it, but in 1971 it came up for sale and was described thus:

One of the older style of detached family houses. Built of brick and slate, with comfortable well proportioned rooms, prominent bay windows and a porch at the front. The house stands well back from the road adding stature and importance to the property. It has a large hall, cloak-room, study,drawing-room, good kitchen, 4 good bedrooms and a bathroom. The garden with its fine old walnut tree and large lawns is much to be admired.

Price £11,250

More recently the property has been for sale again this time the price was an astronomical nearly 63 times the 1971 valuation! Good grief! It’s described with less detail, as a ‘spacious four bedroom detached family house set well back from the road in about 0.6 acres of gardens and grounds in this popular south Cambridgeshire village’.

In the 1971 advert, downstairs there was a porch, hall, cloak-room, study,drawing-room and  kitchen; in the recent advert there is a covered storm porch, entrance lobby ,hall, sitting room , family room, dining room, conservatory/living room, kitchen/breakfast room, side hall, shower room, utility room and an integral garage.

In the older advert upstairs were 4 good bedrooms and a bathroom; forty-four years later there the landing and family bathroom are mentioned as well as the four bedrooms. In the new advert there is a much fuller description of what is outside, including a playroom/office.

I would love to know what it would have been worth when my grandparents lived there… and how much it cost when it was new!

My image is of my mum and her sisters and my grandparents on the step of the house… I wonder if it was taken by my uncle, maybe before he went away to war – my grandpa’s uniform dates it as being 1940’s when he joined up for the second time, despite his age!

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