Monday, 11 April 2011

Well known typing error...





This big house has just come onto the market at a cool £1,675,000, and I hope it sells well for several reasons.

It was the first private house Scrobs ever worked on as a very junior quantity surveyor, way back in 1968.

Back then, it was one of the biggest new projects being built around Rye, and it still seems strange to remember that the final account came in at a shade under £35,000 to build!

The house was built for one particular family, who were pretty well off, and I haven't seen that staircase since I stood there when the job was virtually finished, and was peered at down an imperious nose by the lady of the house one day. I'd called in because I wanted to re-check a measurement of the copper tube, which made up the central heating system in the place. The builders, Turner Bros., of nearby Winchelsea, had put in bills for two near identical amounts of this 1/2" pipe, and I just couldn't reconcile the money, which was about £35.00!

So it was my job to remeasure every single run of pipe and check the lengths against what they'd ordered. It was the first barney I ever had with a builder, and although I was proved right, it was an unnerving experience! But of course, to Mrs Imperious, this would have gone right over her head...

What will probably come out in the open though, is the fact that it was eventually bought by Spike Milligan, and he died while living there. He's buried in Winchelsea boneyard, somewhere in the distance of the pic!

Spike famously said once, that he thought that the house had been designed by a blind architect! I got to know the chap pretty well back then (always Mr McLachlan), and in fact he was one of the most skilled and laid-back designers I've ever met in past or present! He never assumed that we thought he could walk on water, as so many under-talented designers do these days, and I remember him designing a chimney detail in his beloved 'Bradstone' with just the basic drawing board and 'T' square, and doing it in ink, with no pencil, and immediately describing for the builder what he wanted! And it worked of course!

So much for 'blind architect', the working address we used for the house was 'Dumb Woman's Lane'!

17 comments:

Philipa said...

Blind architect? Looks jolly nice. I'd move there in a heartbeat, if I had the dosh :-/

Philipa said...

The tennis court does rather spoil the view tho. Bit pretentious. I'd have it at the back of the house meself.

Philipa said...

Front of the house?

Whatever..

Electro-Kevin said...

Glad a nice guy like Spike ended up there over the old bag.

I bet the views didn't stop him getting depressed though.

Thud said...

I love architects plans ,floor plans and all things build related...especialy stories about young quantity surveyors, it takes a brave chap to take on builders.

Scrobs... said...

Three Pips! Thats a Captain isn't it?

1) So would I Pips, there used to be some more cottages as part of the estate, further down the lane - perfect to let the kids party all night...

2) That wasn't actually there when I was on the job Pips. The entrance is quite imposing, and slopes up to the north, so you'd need one leg shorter than the other to play tennis...

3)http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/#5003/0.6002=q:dumb+woman's+lane,+udimore,+rye:nelat:51.6395310843542:nelong:0.367012023925781:swlat:51.3849134956458:swlong:-0.367012023925781:nosp:0:adj:0/5872/style=a&lat=50.941479&lon=0.699863&alt=89.930046&z=19&pid=5874

Hope this Bing ref comes out! Can you imagine me parking out the front on my Lambretta, and being peered at by Mrs B!

Scrobs... said...

Don't think the Bing ref works Pips! Just put in 'Dumb Woman's Lane, Udimore, Rye, East Sussex', and you'll see the place, with your very own tennis court and pool etc...

When you're still enjoying your reverie though, glass of chilled champers in hand by the sparkling blue water, don't get up and wander topless towards the lane, as there's a damn great sewage treatment plant there - a state of the art one, and I watched it being built...

Scrobs... said...

It was originally built for the Bulley family Elecs.

They were actually not that bad, and probably didn't make a fuss at all, it was probably a young Scrobs, kicking against the pricks...

Sadly, I believe the old man topped himself, (so my dad told me once) because he believed he was terminally ill.

Scrobs... said...

Thudders, you can see more detail here: -

http://www.calcuttmaclean.co.uk/residential/properties-for-sale-in-udimore/RYE110019-TN31-6AD/

McLachlan really was a great detailer! Bradstone was pretty new back then, and the kneelers etc were the real thing!

It's odd to think that I spent ages staring at these drawings, wondering what to do next...

It was a 'cost-plus' contract! What!!! I hear you say...!

(Don't call Chris Calcutt at the agents though, he'll probably sell it to you in a flish! He really is a nice bloke! I told him once that it seemed he was doing pretty well, with his red signs up everywhere, and he laughed and told me that it was just the same single sign, they just kept moving it around...)!

rvi said...

That's a nice hice that, but you would need at least 2 maids and a few gardeners to run it properly and I bet it costs a fortune to heat in the winter (and cool in the summer).

Back to my condo in the sticks...

Blue Eyes said...

Decent pile.

I overnighted at a friend's flat last night and was mightily impressed with his bathroom which is about the same size as my "master" bedroom.

I know this is not strictly to topic but...

lilith said...

Haha, small world Scrobs. Calcutt is Calfy's paternal family's land agent.

I'm sure he must have gathered some fascinating tales in his time....

Scrobs... said...

You're not wrong Reevers! I don't remember any staff quarters there, but that might have changed...

The view from there is fantastic, but also the wind comes straight over from France!

Scrobs... said...

There's something about big bathrooms Blues.

I'm not quite sure what, but the propensity to sing there makes one's voice resemble any of the three tenors...!

Except when I slip in the shower, when one's voice sounds like a bad morning at Billingsgate!

Scrobs... said...

He's a great Chap Lils, fancy you knowing him as well!

I've met his partners on occasions, and they do tend to work up-market...

Chris used to be at Strutts I think!

Lucien Modo said...

I remember driving up the steep hill and around a rather dangerous bend, and someone telling me Spine Malligna lives there... we drove on a bit and went for a drink in the pub down the road, and who should we see but his uncrowned successor and fellow local Vic Reeves... I imagine Scrobs that you will be too long in the tooth to have heard of Vic Reeves, so imagine Phillip Larkin and Eric Morcambe in one pair of trousers... when I say Phillip Larkin I don't mean the old charmer from The Darling Buds of May... that would be Inspector Frost.

Scrobs... said...

Oh Yuss, Modo!

Not sure which pub you mean, but because both Daughts were fans of R and M, we always watched the shows with Ulrika doing her bits; in fact the bits I quite enjoyed actually...

Churchill dropped him when he was caught DUI.

You're absolutely right about the big bend in the lane too - what a memory!