D day

It was exactly one year ago that we moved in to Town End Farm. Our mate Mike did the conveyancing and suggested that we set our completion date to the same as D day! We can’t believe we have been here for a year, but looking back we have achieved a huge amount. This week we have had the great news that the final planning permission has been approved, so we will be pushing ahead as fast as we can during the Summer months.
Things are progressing, but our yard is a bit of a mess at the moment.

TrenchesOne of the things about installing a biomass system is that we need to put district heating pipes in the ground between the boiler house and the properties. We might not be able to host a D day re-enactment event but we could certainly have a go at the Battle of the Somme!

Our ground is very rocky so it has taken 2 diggers to cut through, one pecking it in to pieces and the other with a bucket to remove the rubble. We will be delighted when the pipes arrive and we can claim some space back.

A room with a view

We wanted to create a wow factor in the dining room and Chris at KPP architects decided that the best way to do that would be to create a double height space by  removing the 1st floor. We would then build in a staircase and gallery to the bedrooms which would overlook the dining room. The floor was removed some time ago, but this week the new steels arrived. We had originally decided to leave the original steels in as a temporary measure to help balance the new steels on. However at the last moment we had a sudden moment of sanity and decided just to cut those old steels out and use a lifter to get the new steels in place.

Not Guilty!

We have just ordered our 10th skip today from Ryedale skip hire at Pickering and although we have been putting all sorts of stuff in, we have not had anything to do with the article published today in the Malton Gazette & Herald……honestly

If you can’t read the article click on it for a larger image.


Decisions decisions………..


An F type Jag…. or an ETA biomass boiler?

Truth be told we can’t afford either, but for the long term we cannot afford not to have a biomass boiler system.
We got the images above slightly wrong; the plan was to have two images of desirable hunks of metal of the same value to have a good comparison. The Jag on the left was spec’d from the Jaguar web site to match the price of the ETA boiler on the right, however we forgot that the boiler price didn’t include VAT! so the Jag would be the cheaper option by about 20%.


So what did we choose? Obviously we went for the boiler and the order went in yesterday.

What on earth is biomass? click here to find out.

Spring has sprung

Sheep, are an integral part of the village and we have been keeping an eye open for new arrivals. Easter weekend has seen the first of the lambs, and although very cute we will shortly have to stop them invading the garden.


And once in the garden they don’t eat the grass they prefer the more exotic tastes of hosta or lilly!


Not only have we had the new lambs but we have seen our first swallows today! They also serve as a stark reminder of how much work we have to do as we are planning to open in a years time!


The site is now changing every day its very exciting and also rather scary. If you’ve ever watched any of the building make over shows on the TV you often see huge pieces of steel being manhandled through exterior walls just to get them in….well we didn’t want to be left out!RSJ

This is Josh getting our first new steel in through the wall, Stan is inside and it took all 3 of us to get the piece in place.

As well as putting in we are taking out, we are expecting skip number 7 tomorrow, we think we must be their best customer.  One of the main changes we are making is opening up the dining room by taking the first floor out and making it a double height space.

No Floor

It doesn’t look much from this picture but it is one huge space and painting the ceiling is going to be a nightmare.

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All quiet on the Western Front?

Winter (what winter) has been kind to us but has had us kicking our heels while preparing planning and listed building consent for the National Park. The great news is that the first listed building consent has come in, which allows us to start making changes in the main barn.

North Barn proposals

There is a huge amount to do as we are converting from its current format to a 7 bedroom (all en-suite) holiday cottage aimed at the family get together market. Unfortunately Mike our builder has had to have an operation on his back and is out action for 12 weeks. Currently Ian is working with Josh (Mike’s labourer) and Stan the chippy. The first week working alongside a fit young man 30 years his junior nearly killed Ian.

Our first income!

No we aren’t open for business yet! Our plan has always been to open in Spring 2015 but the farmhouse has already brought some money in. Town End Farm was once an important part of the village and has grazing rights for 80 sheep, these rights still exists and we have done a cash deal with Andrew a local farmer . Jackie did suggest that we had IAN painted on the side of each sheep, but that’s a bit of overkill!  We have already spent some of this money on a sheep (it had to be), in the form of a beautiful  poker with a sheep’s head handle made by local artist blacksmith David Stephenson.poker handle

Sagging Gable End


A sagging gable end may be just a sign of age, and some do go for plastic surgery! However ours was a danger to life and limb and although not part of the rental property was one of those jobs that just had to be done.

If you want to see more images of the gable click here