24 Blackwood Hall – A Special Place
“History may be written in the books of the famous – but it is created by the lives of everyday individuals”
THE STORY OF BILL
24 Blackwood Hall – A Special Place
I have left something very important out, so I will put it in now. In 1954, when we lived at the rented House on OSBORNE Terrace, around the Corner, opposite where the little Cottage was, there was a beautiful little House for Sale. It had been waiting quite a few months for somebody to buy it and love it. It was called 24 BLACKWOOD HALL. One of two Houses, a semi detached. Another new name for a Property. The other side, a little lower than this Property as it was built on a Hill, was a very old Cottage which was once a Farm. No. 24 had some steps onto a Terrace with Bushes all round, and the Sitting room Window overlooking this Terrace.
I quite often passed it, walking up the few steps and looking into the Window. First, when I passed, then, on purpose. Placing the Furniture in it in my mind. Gradually, and then very rapidly, I fell hopelessly in love with it. Absolutely! When I talked, at last, to Bill about it, he did laugh. He really did. How could I have such dreams when we had no money to buy a Shed, never mind a house. But I asked friends Phillis and Roy again, how they bought their House, and suddenly it did not seem quite as laughable as it was before.
We did know the Man who worked for the Building Society, a Mr. NORTH, and we, like everybody else, knew where he lived. He ranked in the Village with the Vicar and the Doctor, a very important Person, a V.I.P. As everybody did or wanted to buy their house, with the help of the Building Society it was a man who “One knew”.
So, on a Sunday afternoon, after Church and Dinner, I finally persuaded my Bill (and Chancellor of the Exchequer) to go and pay Mr. North a friendly visit. Just a chat! Bankbook, Pay cheque etc. was taken just in case. During the week he was working somewhere for the Building Society and we could not have ‘just a chat’.
And we put our case before him, asked IF he thought we had a chance, how much he thought we would need to start this off etc. etc., and to our utter amazement, he did see no Reason at ALL why we should not make an offer. He knew nobody had done that so far. When it was done, and it WAS done there and then, he would put it to the Seller, ask him if he would let us ‘borrow , £100 (on Paper, to be paid off in a year), and he would then ask the Building Society how much they would lend on it. In those Days it was usually the amount the Buyer earned in a year, more or less.
So – all things slowly went the way we had hoped. We could withdraw every penny we had saved, cancelled some Insurances we had, and the price was slightly reduced from the asking price. The £100 was lent for one year, AND, if we did not change our mind, we would proceed and come to the date of signing.
It all happened as planned, we had bought the House for £800 and had paid £150 Deposit.
We then had to eat, literally Jam and Bread for a few weeks to save up for the Solicitors bill when it came. When that finally arrived, we had already saved up more than the bill was and we had a wonderful Feast with the Money saved too much.
But my poor Bill, when we first had been for the signing, found that he suddenly, somehow, he must be dreaming, he OWED suddenly £650. That was very, very hard for him to take, it frightened him. But our lovely friends, Phyllis and Roy again came to the Rescue. They had been brought up by their Parents to BUY, if possible at all. And the Economics of it all, that it had to do for the security of the future of the Family.
And Bill learnt from them, calmed down and was very, very proud. Of himself, of us, of everything. Only seven years after he had come back from Germany, without a Penny, he was, we were, now the proud Owners of a lovely, lovely House.
One entered into the Front Room, the one I could really furnish now. Behind was a partially tiled kitchen. A door from there leading to a nice Storage and Coal cellar. Some Steps on the Outer Wall, leading to the upstairs Landing. Peter’s Room the first door on the left. Our large bedroom second door on the left. And straight on – Wonder over Wonder, a beautiful, fully tiled in yellow Tiles, Bathroom, and toilet. It also had a Cupboard built in for Storing, and holding the hot Water boiler. This was a terrific achievement, a proper kitchen and a proper Bathroom for us. When I told my Parents that we had bought a house they just could not believe it, until Bill told them too. From a little Phone-box nearby.
Both my Mam and Dad came to see us when we had settled in, stayed for a Holiday with us. Their first and only Holiday in their lives. And they were as enchanted with the house as we were. And my Dad’s estimation of England rose to a tremendous height. As the Country where two ordinary people could buy a House, be on the Ladder of Home ownership, in such a short time. It was all one big WONDER to ALL of us.
And that was the Story of a happy threesome buying a House, or, how a Man could suddenly owe sooo much money. Which then, suddenly, was not OWING but advancing, when it was properly THOUGHT through. And that was another Lesson to have learned. THINKING THINGS THROUGH.
For myself, I hope that today’s post has, in some way, encouraged you – Dear Reader – to reflect on the life journeys you have and are undertaking.
As well as those undertaken by those who are near and dear to YOU.
You are who you are because of these journeys.
Where is YOUR journey taking you next, I wonder?
Oh, and by the way,
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Published: February 26, 2014, 23:39 | No Comments on 24 Blackwood Hall – A Special Place
Category: Financial Education, Freedom Of Environment, Real People Helping Real People, The Story Of A Life