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New Article: Restoration of The Hovel by Mike Allmey

 
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poe
Posts: 973
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
Location: England
quotePosted at 15:57 on 20th August 2008

Another great article added recently, by Mike Allmey. Well worth a read. Click the link below. Thanks Mike!

http://www.picturesofengland.com/England/West_Midlands/Erdington/article/1045

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Cathy E.
Cathy E.
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quotePosted at 04:11 on 21st August 2008
That is a beautiful cottage. I am so glad they could preserve it. Sounds like the carpenters are like my Dad. He was an amazing craftsman in his day.
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Stephanie Jackson
Stephanie Jackson
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quotePosted at 07:56 on 21st August 2008
Good atricle Mike. I wish Dudley Council would take a leaf out of neighbouring Birmingham Council's book. They are hell bent on the destruction of all our historic buildings around here! I have been part of the fight to save Saltwells House in Saltwells Nature Reserve and we fought and won to save our beloved school Mount Pleasant Primary which celebrates it's 120th year in September. How long before they try again who knows. They demolished the Robin Hood Public House during the fight to keep it! In Sandwell they saved Haden House but the landmark pub the Victoria in Old Hill was demolished for a KFC! It makes me so angry!
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Mike Allmey
Mike Allmey
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Joined: 7th Aug 2008
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quotePosted at 20:02 on 26th August 2008

This was a much more complicated, long-winded and tortuous process for The Hovel than may first be apparent; it has been unhibated / uninhabitable since the '60s, and had passed through the hands of many developers who all wanted to demolish it in order to build more usual housing. A great deal of credit has to go to Elizabeth Perkins of BCC who finally managed to pin Crest Nicholson down to a deal that secured The Hovel in exchange for PP for the remainder of the site

Ulitmately I don't think it cost BCC much money to achieve this - just the time of a determined conservation officer.Given the less than creditable reputation for historical conservation by regenerating cities in the UK, The Hovel is something of a benchmark to be aimed for - it is a tiny building that has survived 400 years of Birmingham swallowing everything around it.

If you're wondering why somoene in Suffolk has such an interest in this speck on the Birmingham map, it's because I was the biggest individual beneficiary of this long-term saga in August 2001 when I bought The Hovel from Crest; it was a fantastic property to own and live in. Unfortunately, I had to move on a year later, but I was able to sell it to a professional gardener who has since transformed the gardens surrounding it.

Despite all the work that has gone into it, it remains almost unknown publically. It's too small to be opened to the public - it is a home after all - and its situation means it is effectively hidden from view; as I discovered, if any part ofattarcts attention, the garden gets broken into and then it would be all to easy to break into The Hovel itself, so it has remained behind a five to six-foot fence. Sad, but necessary.

But at least it's still there, and it is the last surviving agricultural workers' hovel in the Midlands. Long may it remain so.

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Ruth Gregory
Ruth Gregory
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quotePosted at 03:59 on 28th August 2008

That was a very interesting article, Mike.  The building looks very charming.  Were you involved in the restoration project?

 

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Mike Allmey
Mike Allmey
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Joined: 7th Aug 2008
Location: UK
quotePosted at 08:46 on 28th August 2008
No, I was merely the first person who decided they could down-size sufficiently in order to fit a life inside the tiny space offered by the building!
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