Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Southfork


Tuesday 20th November 2012


I have a new favourite place.
It is called Patrick's, a salvage yard in the village of Murrow.

It's where all the old girders, beams, gates, windows, toilets and sinks go to die. The place spreads out organically. There is no particular organisation to it. You just go and climb over things till you find what you need.
On the face of it, quite an intimidating place, especailly for a not-so-practical person like me, but the family that run the place were actually very friendly and helpful.
So last week I met my builder there and we trudged around looking for a steel RSJ to stop the new kitchen / diner collapsing in the middle. I didn't have a clue what I was looking for, but Jason's keen eyes eventually spotted a pair of U-beams which would do the job perfectly.

This fits in perfectly with two of my strongest principles in life.

1. Try to re-use everything.
2. Try to save money n everything.

The house which has been built next to the salvage yard is a wonder. Extravagantly pieced together using every characterful piece of salvage that has come in over the years, it looks like a Disney version of the Adams Family house.

But it gets even better. For at the other end of the village stand a pair of grandiose house built wiht the bricks salvaged from an old grammar school, complete with columns. This placed is appropriatley named Southfork Farm and is strongly influenced by the architecture of its namesake in Dallas.

Here lies an absolute treasure - the salvage wood yard.
An old boy called Fred runs the place and he has the same appreciation for old wood as I do.
It was here that we found the beam to go across the living room, a beautifully aged hunk of ancient pitch pine. And here too we found 10" wide floorboards and antique pine to make all the new doors we need.

On the outside, this wood shows the scars of years and years of wear and abuse. But Fred has a couple of monster machines, especially a planer that fills a whole room, which transform it, shaving off the grease and grime and the worst of the knocks, but leaving that wonderfully aged colour and grain that's impossible to recreate with new wood.

The moment Sue clapped eyes on the wide floorboards, that was it. We were destined to have wooden floors in the bedrooms! I must say, I fell in love with them too.


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