Also, at about this stage of the construction the roof battening and tiling had to be fixed. What a lot of ladder work and humping up heavy tiles this must of involved. The building itself was not the only work. Somehow my father fitted in the front and back lawns, flower beds, trellis work, fencing, preparing a vegetable garden. I would guess that this represented at least five years work to reach this stage. But how satisfying in must have been for him to see his bungalow, all his efforts, now standing there.
His attention now must have been directed to finishes. I remember the pebble dashing caused him frustration. A tarpaulin was laid on the ground to catch any falling pebbles, the wall area in question would the have a further coat of sand and cement rendering. Before this rendering was set, pebbles would be flicked on from a trowel, sticking to the rendering. That was the theory, and this was before the present day rotary hurdy-gurdy applicators. The problem bugging my father was how to achieve an even application of pebbles, which would result in an even colour and texture of the pebbledash. There was due discussion and experimentation between my Dad and Tom Driscoll next door. Eventually problems were overcome by persistence and practice, and finally the pebbledash was quite satisfactory.
Inside, the timber wall frame and the ceiling joists were sheeted with plasterboard and decorated. The bungalow was water-tight and comfortable by now. Family visitors slept in the shell of the bungalow before this stage anyway! Since there was so much external woodwork painting was a continual task. The veranda woodwork especially was tiresome to paint.
We never ever had a piped water supply into the bungalow; it only went into the shed, which remained on the site permanently. I seem to remember something about if mains water was installed into a permanent building, the rateable value went up, and since my father resented paying any rates at all, we made do with water into the shed, which served as our kitchen. We never had an inside toilet or a bathroom – Dunton bungalows never had such luxuries.
The bungalow, now given the name of ‘Lansbury’ after George Lansbury, one of my father’s admired early socialists, was practically complete by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. The whole project, from buying the plots through to virtual completion of the bungalow and developing the garden had taken about nine years. Nine years of weekend work.
6 of 16