In 1988 Lou and I had been married six years. We'd bought an house in 1981 and renovated it before moving in on the day we got married, March 6th 1982, my 21st birthday. We both worked hard, me as a transport manager for a large window company and Lou as a supervisor in a supermarket, however, in 1986 we decided to sell up and move down south to Bournemouth. It was a a mistake, we didn't take to it and in the autumn of that year moved home to the Midlands. We were broke and had nowhere to live. Lou' s parents allowed us to stay at theirs for a while until we could rent a place of our own. Jobs were hard to come by and even though we tried, we had little success, so we used the one asset we had ( our camper ) and set up a mobile fruit and veg shop going around the country lanes selling from door to door. It was great fun and we made some good friends including a member of the Cadbury family and his wife. Sadly the truth was this business wasn't really a goer, some days we spent more than we earned. The winter was hard on the van and in the warmer spring months the customers sometimes didn't buy, it was not a reliable way to earn a crust. We looked around for alternative jobs. In the meantime we had moved into an house with two very good friends Maureen and Bob. They were older than us,but we had got on so well for years that living together was just pure fun and laughter. I got a job lorry driving and Lou went back into the supermarket. We saved and saved for a deposit on an house and in the spring of 88 bought a Victorian terraced villa in Stourport on severn for the grand sum of £22000. It needed no work, the neighbours were great and we soon felt completely at home. We had barbecue parties at the weekend and even found time to restore a Morris minor that year. That summer was a fantastic time. The funny thing was, when we appointed our usual solicitor to do the conveyance on our purchase, she off handedly said ' "oh, I have a cheque here for you from your previous building society, you overpaid your mortgage by £2300!" She had had it in her account for nearly two years! Anyhow, at the end of the summer Maureen and Bob had sold their house and decided to semi retire to a caravan park locally. Lou thought this was a good idea and asked me to have our house valued as they had gone up drastically in that summer. I got the house valued, and couldn't believe it was valued at £48000 just 6 months after we had moved in, an increase of £26k. So we put it on the market and sold it within a day. Maureen and Bob asked us to come see the mobile home they had put a deposit on, so we obliged them and went to view the place. It had a golf course, fishing lakes and was in a beautiful setting, in short, we were hooked and decided to buy one. We made an appointment to see the park owner, chose a mobile home and headed in with all the enthusiasm in the world. Maureen and Bob waited outside excited at the prospect of our new adventure at the restaurant. They were soon to be as forlorn as we were when the owner said he wouldn't allow young couples to buy on the park as we were likely to have children and the place wasn't geared up for that. In truth, he was a snobby sod that had a very upmarket place with a very pretentious clientele and was very particular about who lived there. We weren't upmarket enough in our 15 year old campervan. There were tears when we went back to Maureen and Bob, and lots of vacant stares while we took stock of our predicament. We'd made so many plans together, we'd had it all worked out, and even chosen two nice plots overlooking the golf course and lakes that we could have our homes sited on, but now we were at a loss. That week, in the local rag I'd seen a advert for a very odd looking cabin by the river in Bewdley, it was out in the sticks, had water and electricity, was fully residential, and was up for £11500. I mentioned it to them and off we set to go look see. The lane to it was long and winding, the Severn valley railway meandered along the one side of the lane and the river Severn the other. It was picturesque to say the least. As we neared the property: Bob's arm that was hanging out of the passenger window hit something. It was a plasterboard sign with the words ' for sale' written in felt pen on it with a Birmingham number. We arrived at the property we originally went to view and met the owner. Bob Maureen and Lou went to look round, I in the meantime went to view the one with the plasterboard sign two hundred yards back down the lane. I fought my way through the brambles that had grown over the gate, teetered over the broken bits of retainer wall that held the lane back from falling into the cabin and found my way around the building ( loose term ) to the front. The view was amazing, in front of me 100 yards across a field was the river Severn, beyond that the rest of the valley and the wooded hills beyond that, the Wyre forest. That was a view I would wake up to for the next fifteen years, but I didn't know it at that moment. I turned and as a sort of after thought viewed the cabin behind me. God it was in a state. Rotten, no sign of a water supply and a distinctly outside loo that was of the bucket and Chuck it school. Phewwy! Maureen then appeared behind me, she too had decided this one needed inspection. She stood aghast looking at the view and declared " I want this one" I looked at her and although I truly thought the world of her said, " no way mate. I'm having this" and went down the phone box to phone the Birmingham number on the sign. We met the owner the very next day at the property. He explained the peculiarities of the place, the land ownership and the strange conveyance system, told us how his wealthy family had it built originally in 1890 and the resistance to modern facilities in their quest to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city business. He then took a £90 cash deposit off us, handed us the keys, said he wanted the rest in cash next week ( £10,480 ) and we would sign it over at the local conveyors next Saturday. A funny archaic system, but a £90 deposit got us the keys and a week to knock the place into shape, because we had to be out of our house on Friday. God, what had we done? We’d bought this for an home. Bats in the roof, mice in the walls and squirrels under the floor, and it was filled with smelly old furniture too The toilet and back entry Some of the front view The Severn valley railway behind us Sort of our view of the river ( not my picture. I don't seem to have one) the river and hills beyond were our view not this angle. Maureen and Bob. Sadly both now deceased, bought the other one and we remained firm friends forever xx Eventually ( after battles with the council ) we got it into shape a bit TO BE CONTINUED... when I feel like writing.