Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A lucky find or serendipity?

It was a Friday afternoon in the summer of 1982. My 'O' level and 'A' level classes had left school, so with some free time on my hands and taking some exam marking with me, I left school early. Walking through town with a friend, we saw a sign for a property auction and decided to have a nose about - as you do.

One of the properties caught my eye, an old Victorian school in a pretty village about four miles away. We had eaten at the village pub (meant to be the second oldest in England ) so I was interested to see who would buy the school and how much it would sell for. didn't reach its reserve.
So............later that evening we climbed over the gate for the first time to have a rekkie.

We liked what we saw, and being young, fairly headstrong but with secure jobs and no ties, what did we have to lose?

Within days we had our house on the market, had secured a second mortgage, borrowed some money from parents and put in a sealed bid offer. Luckily for us we had dared more than anyone else and the school was ours.

The school which had opened in 1858 rang the final bell in July 1981.

We had bought two classrooms, two cloakrooms, a tiny school kitchen and a large playground with an outside toilet in one corner. What we didn't have was any bathroom, hot water or heating. December 1982, for those of you with long memories, was another winter similar to this one. The snow, ice and freezing temperatures seemed to be never ending. In fact, I seem to remember shortly after moving in we went on a ski holiday to warm up!! 

We lived in a borrowed tiny 2 berth caravan, until we could set one of the cloakrooms up as a tiny bed -sitting room.

The adventure, that has lasted for the last 28 years, was only just beginning.........

Our next door neighbour!

Some of the previous inhabitants of our school.

I'll scan some of our original photographs to tell the story, and as Eamon Andrews would have said

" St James School, this is your life" .

Watch this space........

1 comment:

  1. What a find !!
    I vaguely remember you saying you lived in a school and thought you had meant a school house -ie the headmaster's house next to the school and a proper house. (Like there was at my old village junior school, and very desirable it was, too.)
    I love the old photos.