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Fern Road

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 2nd May 1952, transcribed by Gill Hollis

The House That John Built
More than two years ago, John Hardwick, of 8, Spinney Road, Rushden, then aged 21, decided to get married, and that meant having a house of his own – a dream he had long cherished. In a little over a week he and his young wife will move into that dream home, now reality, which John has built himself.

John, a plumber by trade, applied for the building licence early in 1950, and filled in dozens of forms before he finally obtained one nine months ago. He acquired a piece of land in Fern Road, and started right away.

Working each evening after a full day at his place of employment, all day Saturday and Sunday and all through the holidays, he has had help at various times from his father, his father-in-law and one or two mates. Now a six-roomed bungalow built largely to his own design is almost complete.

The bungalow will have a pleasing appearance with a white cement finish. Approximately 20,000 bricks have gone into the building – about 10,000 of them laid by John himself.

He also tiled the roof, but had assistance with the woodwork. His greatest pride is in the wood-block floor of the hall – another “lone” job.

Electric light was installed by a friend, and there was also help from John’s father and father-in-law, Mr. R. Line, in laying the sewer. This meant digging down eight feet – an achievement when one realises that both men are shoe operatives.

Pastel coloured distempered walls and light painted skirting boards have been done with a professional touch, and then there is the bathroom with its green fittings, the pride of Mrs. Hardwick.

Total cost of his home is estimated by Mr. Hardwick to be between £1,100 and £1,200. He has yet to build a low wall to surround the bungalow, and later possibly a garage.

Before he started on the bungalow his father said: “You’re setting yourself a big job, you know!” John’s reply was: “It’s a poor man who can’t build his own house when he’s in the trade.” He has every reason to be proud that he stuck to this view.

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