A few weeks ago now, we were blessed with a visit from one of the original occupants of our home, Alan Johnson, along with his wife Barbra, and their nephew Ian and his wife Karen. Ian took the time to get in touch with me after recognising the house in the article was published in the Sunday Mail. We had been exchanging emails for some time, and Ian had given us a great deal of information about our home, including the plans I shared a few weeks ago, and the information the the house name was not actually Pen Y Llechwedd when the family owned the home.
Note the fence, we will be returning our fence to very similar.
What we were unprepared for, was how very much this visit would mean to us. Alan is a very sprightly 91 year old who enjoyed touring the house and giving his memories from the time he lived here, which was some 30 years of his life. He and his wife Barbra shared our bedroom when first married. The smiles on their faces as the entered the house, and had the opportunity to share their stories is something we were so blessed to experience and will not forget. Do you know, it has given us even more inspiration to fully restore our beauty to it’s original condition.
Ian had so thoughtfully prepared a copy of any of the family photos he could find, that showed the house as it was when the family lived here. But it didn’t stop at that, were we blessed to be given a copy of his father’s Mervyn’s story. Mervyn also shared some wonderfully memories of his time in the house, for example the following exert:
The drive into our yard at 8 Waghorn St was on the northern side of the property and the southern side Mum had a vegetable garden. We grew a large variety of fruit and vegetables: beetroot, lettuce, tomatoes, navel oranges, mandarins, watermelons, rockmelons, eshalottes, red cabbage, white grapes, cauliflower, strawberries and in the back yard mangoes, persimmons, custard apples, peaches, china flats, rosella plans and marmalade oranges for jam. Mother made a lot of jam as don Holt, the traveler, brought back Cape Gooseberries and rosellas from the country.
This a picture of Maud Johnson in the garden where our driveway now is.
We now know so much more of our home when it was first built and for its first 55 years. We had so much of the information we had gathered, confirmed and some of it was put right. It has inspired us to take make changes to our fence, which I had previously battled long and hard to keep, it has changed our plans (again) for the second extension, all because we feel a real longing to keep this families memories alive.
The lattice screens will not be making a come back, however they did really suit the home.
The Builder and I have always felt like we were simply custodians of our home, rather than home owners, now we feel this even more. In the coming weeks, I will share a tour around our home through Alan’s eyes.
What sort of stories could the walls in your home tell? Do you have a house that brings back wonderful memories?