A House Party in Full Swing - Spring Open Day April 2012
Last Saturday morning Ellie and Mariyana (two members of our estimating team) and I left Hereford bright and early at 5.30am to travel down to Bill and Gill Wade’s home in Cudham, Kent for our second open day this year. We met Mark Rickwood (Oakwrights Sales Area Manager), Darren Blackwell (Oakwrights Architectural Designer) and his daughter there at 8.15am, for a hearty cooked breakfast laid on by our hosts.
Bill and Gill Wade, our hosts for the day!
A hearty cooked breakfast to prepare us for the day
Bill and Gill live in a Wealden style oak framed house designed by Oakwrights; loosely based on the Bayleaf original Wealden frame, an example of which can be found at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in West Sussex. We erected the oak frame in 2001, and Bill and Gill moved in during 2003, the year that they won the Local Planning Authority first prize for the best traditional house constructed that year.
10am came and the first of our guests arrived. While it is good to show prospective customers all the new houses that we build, it is also wonderful to be able to show off a house that is almost ten years old; one that continues to grow in character as each year goes by. We had a total of 34 parties in visit during the course of the day. At one stage, by mid-morning, the house was creaking at the seams with the amount of people, it was like a house party in full swing.
The devil is in the detail, and this chimney certainly has the detail
Looking down from the galleried landing to the dining hall
We met with many people, most of whom we have been speaking to already, regarding all sorts of projects; from people with plots looking for ideas for the style of oak frame that they would like to build, to people with full planning permission just looking for the final ideas and touches to add to their project before they start construction.
Miraculously the weather held off all day, not a drop of rain!
This must be the fifth or sixth open day that Bill and Gill have hosted for us at their fantastic home and their enthusiasm never seems to fade. Bill and Gill project managed their build themselves, and they love passing on their experiences to prospective self builders. Their enthusiasm seems to be infectious, and you could see a spring in the step of all of our visitors as they left with a little more belief in their own project and a determination to get on and build.
Clouds skittering by, but the rain held off!
Darren Blackwell, one of the Oakwrights Architectural Designers, was on hand to talk to people with plots who needed a design service. He was busy all through the day and will be even busier in the weeks to come making site visits to many of the people he advised. Darren’s young daughter, Enya, came along and helped meet and greet each new visitor upon arrival.
We had a great day and I would like to thank all who came to visit us. I hope you found the day helpful and inspiring. You can meet up with us again soon at Grand Designs Live, Excel May 5-13, and then our next open day which will be at a lovely country contemporary style home near Goudhurst, Kent.
Ellie, Mark, Darren and Enya
Finally thanks to Bill and Gill who looked after everybody so well on Saturday, and who are an inspiration to all prospective self builders, and thank you to all our visitors for making our open day so worthwhile.
Tim Crump, Oakwrights Managing Director
As a little boy I didn’t have a rocking horse but if I had I would have liked a Steven’s Brothers rocking horse.
Bill, Gill and myself next to the roaring open fire that kept the house warm, even with all the doors open on a fairly chilly Saturday in April