Apr 082013
 

The idea was good; buy an old place to renovate and make it pay for itself; open it as a guest house. Paying guests will help pay for the renovations. Right. Now where would this place be? Where was there roundabout that attracted tourists in their droves? Bath. It had to be Bath. The search was on.
The first property we looked at was in Cavendish Crescent. It was five storeys and had a basement that stretched out under the road. But no parking. And it was uphill. Not all tourists hired cars.
Property number two was at Northend, a village three miles from Bath. Fern Cottage was a seven bedroomed building dating from 1740. It also had a mansard roof plus a separate detached coach house. The main house hadn’t been renovated since the electricity was installed in the thirties but only piecemeal. Most of the house was still gas lit; lovely but spooky. The coach house wasn’t lit by anything and a family of rats had made their home where the coach and horse used to live.
We were in doubt that we were taking on a mammoth task; the old place was dusty, gloomy and had odd corners and quirky corridors, but we placed in an offer. £64,500. To our amazement it was accepted. We would be taking possession in January, this was in 1984. Possession was the optimum word, though we didn’t know it then, or at least my other half didn’t, but me? I kept having these odd dreams about the place; spooky dreams, like premonitions of what was to come – what oddities we would meet – and that was just the guests! As for the ghosts, well, I’ll take you a step further tomorrow perhaps, or the day after. Just wait a bit while I look over my shoulder, just in case I’ve been followed….