April & May 2002
We began earnestly in April but it took a while to get organised and not too many pictures were taken over this period. Whilst to some it might have seemed a good idea to photograph the property, it was so poorly presented with very serious damp problems (stated by the surveyor to be some of the worst he had witnessed on the Terrace) that to have taken pictures then would in the future bring back the unhappy memories of the property's miserable state. We preferred to look forward to better things rather than ever dwell on what initially was the source of so many nightmares.
So by the time these photos were taken much work on the inside had already occurred. The removal of plaster to the external walls, the injection of a chemical DPC (damp proof course), all timbers were chemically treated and the walls partially re-plastered. The kitchen had also been ripped out.
The staircase is truly one of the property's most beautiful features. Fortunately the turned handrail that continues fully to the floor above has not been ruined by painting. Just a clean-up and waxing is all it will need to show its glory. The turned spindles however will be a problem to get back to the original timber. The entrance hall floor is original tiling but in a very poor state. We will probably have to tile over it sympathetically. Victorian style tiles if we can afford it!
In the lounge the fireplace had to be removed due to the injection of the DPC. It was painted white with several coats and seemed just the same as the other timber fireplaces. However it was heavier than thought and it fell over, breaking into many pieces, revealing the secret that it was really white Italian marble. After this tragedy, and the immense sadness felt by all, its parts have been consigned to the garage, hoping that some pieces can be restored, but its original magnificence, ruined by whomsoever painted it, will never again be appreciated. And it was worth a small fortune!