The continuing story of the house Joe and Mary Ann Scott lived in for over 50 years and the families that have lived here since.*
I’m not sure how different our house is from many in Chorlton, although in all of its history it has only been home to four families of which ours is the only one to have children.
Now that I think makes it a little unique, that and the boat that John built in the back garden. Most people have sheds in their gardens but from 1975 through to ’78 we had a boat.
|The boat in the garden|
Having bought the house in 1975 and redecorated throughout he set to on the boat. Mary Ann had died the year before and the house had lain empty for a while.
I suppose looking back the boat was the logical next step after he had taken out the fireplaces, picture rails, dado rails and installed a 1970s’ look kitchen.
Many of the skills he would need for the boat were first developed in knocking the house about.
Now I moved in just before the Christmas of ’76 and already the project had advanced from the planning stage to the construction. Somewhere in the dining room are the screw holes which held in place some of the ribs of the hull, while in the cellar there are the traces of glass fibre and a particularly blue paint which was applied to much of sides of the boat.
Most evenings and all weekend John would disappear about the business of boat building and in the spring of 1975 the garden was taken over by the skeleton of the boat which was built upside down. In the fullness of time this required a team of us to participate in the boat turning party which involved a Sunday afternoon of much grunting, rolling and pushing followed by the more delightful party of food by Lois and booze from all of us.
And soon he was as much part of the boat as John.
It would be Jack who supervised the team of us who took down the side wall when the boat was finished and it was Jack along with John who saw it onto a low loader and down to Wales.
I have to admit was less interested, and sometime in the spring of 1978 briefly moved out, only to return four years later having bought the house from the people John sold it to. And that is part of the story as well.
Having finished the boat, John put Joe and Mary Anne’s house on the market and was sold fairly quickly to a young couple who promptly went off to South Africa. Briefly on a return visit they decided to sell and I bought.
|The boat waiting to go to Wales|
“Did I know that one of them had built a boat?” And that "three men had shared with a woman?" Added to that “they were all teachers.”
It was an odd episode in the history of the house and one which people still tell me about.
Pictures; from the collection of Lois Elsden