An Old House In Cravells Road

Photo:Dad by the old kitchen range

Dad by the old kitchen range

Photo:The cooker, sink and the only tap in the house

The cooker, sink and the only tap in the house

Photo:The floor and stairs had to go ....

The floor and stairs had to go ....

Photo:.... and all the ceilings and plaster

.... and all the ceilings and plaster

Photo:Watched by the neighbour, the new roof going on

Watched by the neighbour, the new roof going on

Photo:The extension with the new kitchen and bathroom

The extension with the new kitchen and bathroom

Photo:....and the new lounge/dining room

....and the new lounge/dining room

Photo:And now for the front garden

And now for the front garden

Before and After - 1880s to 1980s

By Lucy Marlow, aged 10, Yr.5,Crabtree Juniors

In early 1984 my Dad bought a house in Cravells Road. It had two small rooms downstairs and two small bedrooms upstairs. The whole house was only 10feet 6inches (3.2 metres) wide. It didn`t cost much because it was in very poor condition. The old lady it had belonged to before had lived there a very long time.

 

NO ELECTRICITY

It had been built at a time before houses had electricity or running water and it didn`t have a bathroom, just a toilet in the garden. Downstairs it had just two gas lights which had to be lit with a match every time you wanted to switch on – I wonder if she used candles upstairs?

 

WATER

Originally water had come from the well in the garden, but by 1984 piped water came to a cold tap over the sink in the kitchen and there was now a flushing toilet in a shed in the garden, but still no hot water anywhere.

 

COOKING

The old coal-fired “kitchen range”, originally providing warmth and cooking had by now been replaced with a two-ring gas cooker with a tiny oven – and no microwave!

 

HEATING

There was no Central Heating, just coal fires in the other rooms.

 

RE-BUILDING

It was a lot of hard work for my Dad to get it ready for their wedding in July, as he only had his spare time after work in the evenings and at weekends, but he did it all by himself!

This page was added by Lucy Marlow on 26/02/2011.
Comments about this page

What a lovely portrait of a house, and a tribute to your dad's hard work. So many houses in Harpenden have been expanded and altered, and it is good to be reminded of what they used to be like.

By Rosemary Ross
On 05/03/2011

Well done Lucy for writing all about the history of your parents' first home. We can't imagine what it must be like to live in a house without electricity and running water with a toilet in the garden!

By Noa and Kate
On 07/06/2011

What a wonderful tribute Lucy! Marvelously written!

By Anna Pollard
On 10/04/2012

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