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'!