In April 1983, having bought Orchard Farm – a wreck (but with exciting potential) with its derelict farmhouse and almost as derelict barns and outhouses, our one and only thought was getting it habitable – with plenty of ideas, a very limited budget, and Peak Park rigid planning restrictions.
We had the builders pull down the dreadful asbstos and breeze block piggeries and assorted sheds opposite the house – that bit was quite easy as they were falling down anyway.
It was a harder decision to demolish the milking parlour. This sat most inconveniently right in front of the house but it was the only sound, dry building on the site! However, all that now remains is the low walled garden area with a picnic table and where now the newspapers are left.
Finally, in 1999, we embarked on the cowsheds attached the house. For a long time we had been a bit worried: the gable end wall was bowing badly and we weren’t too sure about the roof any time there was a heavy wind!
Marion’s father’s decision to accept our invitation to live up here with/beside us gave us the much needed impetus to start on the next big phase – Stage Two – of the Orchard Farm restoration project.