The 1958 house

Picture 1

Idly looking at some property websites, we came across this house. It’s not the best side but it’s all I can show at present.  It is one of a group of four built in 1958, almost literally on the edge of London. The green belt* stopped London growing any further outwards, at this point.

We had to go and view it, and we both immediately decided we had to have it. There are all sorts of drawbacks of course, but nevertheless we made an offer for it and we’re reasonably optimistic that if we can get a quick offer on our existing house we can clinch a deal with the owner.

He has lived there since it was built and has hardly altered it. So unusual is it to find an unaltered architect-designed ‘modern’ style house, mid-century, that it was recently proposed to be listed (which means given statutory protection from being altered, on account of its architectural or historic interest).  If we do manage to acquire it, we will perhaps try to get it listed once we have carried out some modest updating (without of course harming the features which make it eligible for listing).

So now there is a panic here to get our house fit to place on the market. That long, long list of jobs that need doing, stuck to the fridge years ago as a reproachful daily reminder to Mr Lazy when reaching for the ingredients of yet another cheese sandwich,  is now rapidly getting shorter as items are crossed off.  Tiles have been regrouted, damp patches hidden, handles put on many doors, and so on and so on. We have perhaps 2 weeks before the first viewing.


* The green belt is a designated area of land around most urban areas on which virtually no new development is allowed. The main idea is to prevent towns expanding infinitely and uncontrollably outwards, often swallowing up surrounding villages and causing one town to merge eventually with its neighbours.    In the case of London, the city has grown to about 40 miles across in just this way, before the policy took real effect in 1947 and stopped the endless spread of suburbia.


2 thoughts on “The 1958 house

  1. Looks like a beautiful house, I hope you get it.

    That green-belt is a really good idea. I wonder, perhaps it would work well for my home city, put some order back in things. There are no systems in place as yet to limit how far suburbia spreads.

    It is surreal not finding any references to ‘the past you’ in any of your writing here. 🙂 it’s like…I have to sit up straighter, if you get what I mean.

    1. Well, London grew rapidly for 100 years before we got around to this policy, and it always seems under threat because of course when ever things get tight some Government minister will think ‘why don’t we relax this policy and get housebuilding going again…’

      I suspect some ‘past me’ references will creep back in!

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