A-Z Challenge – ‘K’
The house of grey stone and roof of Collyweston slate still retains its old character in the Rutland village of Ketton.
This is the house in which I was born
I remember it in the 1940s and 1950s when the front had a grey wooden fence, a garden gate and a double gate across the drive at the left. It was fun to swing over them from one side to the other.
On either side of a concrete path to the front door were lawns each with diamond-shaped flower beds in their centre. At nine or ten, I had to cut the edges and woe betide me if I snipped off any flowers. They were in more danger from flailing sticks used to swat bumble bees attracted by the asters.
A rambling rose covered the head-high, wire fence between the lawn and drive. A small gate from the drive near the house opened onto a stone path crossing the front to the lawns and flower beds. Right of the house was a short path from the pavement into the garden of the landlord; he kept a beady eye on us especially as our Airedale, Punch, had killed his cat when it trespassed on ‘his’ lawn.
The tree at the left is an apple tree that I used to climb as a boy.
The drive up the left continued to the back boundary fence and contained a gate through which you could enter a stonemason’s yard – but only if he wasn’t there; he wasn’t keen on kids pinching his apples and plums from trees which were covered in the dust from the monuments and gravestones he made.
Beyond the back of the house on the right were outhouses with double doors used as garages for the cars of the landlord’s spinster daughters. Between the garages and the house were two smaller outhouses - one for Dad’s tools where the dog had its kennel, and one for coal, the fuel that provided heating and hot water. Behind the coal house was the toilet. No plumbing or drainage; it was equipped with a big wooden seat, and beneath the hole, an open bucket emptied once a week; unheated and with very little light, it wasn’t a nice place at night.
Now the wooden fences have gone to be replaced by stonewalls. There are no gates. A nameplate proclaims it to be ‘Saddlers Cottage’. My father’s family were saddlers before the motorcar came along.
The house in a shot along the High Street
[I have taken the text for this from a longer article about the house in which I was born.]