Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Brunswick Road - 02 The Demolition

Penrith, Cumbria. July-2021.

The Dining Room Fireplace: after the great success of exposing the lovely, stone fireplace in Benson Row it was a no-brainer to attempt to the same in Brunswick Road. We had hardly got the keys when Mary attacked the fireplace to create an investigatory hole. 

That looked promising so we went the full hog with hammer and chisel to expose a couple of square metres of the chimney breast. We definitely have a massive sandstone lintel but lack anything resembling side columns, just a hodgepodge of sandstones and bricks. 

There was clearly a back boiler at some point in the last century when they reduced the opening and you can still see a couple of pipes sticking out of the side. We have commissioned a local stone company to insert two uprights either side of the opening, remove the modern infill and fit a new hearth.

The Pantry under the stairs: Given the position of the stairs between the living room and dining room there had to be a space under the staircase but there was no door visible on either side. Some knuckle rapping in the dining room wall made us suspect a blocked up doorway. Conversations with the neighbour confirmed that there should indeed be a useful space. So it was a repeat of the fireplace: create an exploratory opening followed by a full exposure. 

The original Victorian doorway exposed.

Hey presto a substantial storage space.

Written on the wall in pencil “This was a pantry until 1955 “. Well that gives us the date for the blocking up. 

The Kitchen and Bathroom: We know it is going to be completely gutted and redone but Mary made a pre-emptive move by ripping out a couple of the manky old cupboards to create space for a new freestanding fridge and a built-in oven and microwave. The latter still in their packaging, these we had pre-ordered before the works begin to ensure we could get the models we wanted before AEG change the specs. The remaining cupboards were musty so their doors went as well! 

Next Mary ripped the panelling off the side of the bath to investigate where all the pipes went. This may or may not help with the planning of the conversion into a shower and utility room.

The Shed: the previous owner, or his tenants, left literally a shed load of old rubbish. Most of that went straight off to the tip along with all the rubble from the fireplace. I am practically on first name terms with the guy on the gate at Flusco Recycling Centre. The exception was a gas powered barbecue which looked in reasonable nick and has now gone to a friend.

Living Room: No major plans to uncover the chimney breast in the front room based on what we have seen in the neighbours front room. We did however remove an electric fire to reveal two previous generations of wallpaper. There ought to be an air vent so we will cut a hole large enough for a small peer into the void behind.

Dining room (again): Mary doesn't like carpet in a dining room (food gets into it) so she ripped up the BRAND NEW carpet. We gave it away to a good home via FaceBook market place so it didn't go to waste. Mary then sanded and varnished the floors.

That is enough deconstruction for the moment. Next some construction...

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