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Alphabe Thursday … G is for Grate

July 4, 2013

G is Grate, the recess of the fireplace or the metal frame containing fuel in the fireplace. From the Latin ‘cratis’ meaning hurdle.

We moved into this house in the early 1980s when the property market was booming.  We had limited funds and had to settle for a house in our prefered and more expensive area; cheaper but without its original features; always a desirable option but not for us this time!

During the previous 20 years it had become the trend in some localities to remove old and dated fittings like fireplaces, windows and doors to make space for central heating and picture windows, fitted kitchens and indoor toilets  etc.

Our Victorian Terrace house had fallen foul to such a property developer who actually had not done such a bad job.  He had not tacked a bathroom on the back of the house, but converted the third bedroom into something very stylish and spacious. He did replace the tiny sash window in the kitchen with a ‘picture’ window that overlooks the back garden and it has been a constant delight.

Another feature he retain to his credit was the tiny porch just inside the front door.  This this useful space has been removed from other houses in our street.  As a result when they open their front door their sitting room is exposed to the world or at least to their neighbours; not a good look in my opinion.

He did remove all but one of the fireplaces; this was sad enough and could have proved to be disaster.  When a builder came to replace our roof he noticed that while the fireplaces and chimney breasts had gone from the dining room and second bedroom he had left the chimney on the roof unsupported.  The chimney could have fallen at any time and caused untold damage.

When the builder had made the chimney safe he went on to replace our roof not with plastic tiles instead he retained our old slates and reused them on a new wooden frame. So while all the other features have gone; we do have original bricks made here in Reading, the slate tiles quarried not so far away and a tiny grate a long way from its former glory but a nice focal point for me to sit beside.

We did hope that one day we would move a little bit more ‘upmarket’ but it seems the day never came.  As I look at my few original features that bring me such joy I wonder if we ever will.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy Westhrop permalink
    July 4, 2013 12:01 pm


  2. July 5, 2013 12:42 am

    nice that you had a fireplace left. I wish we had one. And the little porch inside sounds neat! {:-Deb

  3. July 5, 2013 10:38 pm

    love the idea of the little porch…

  4. July 5, 2013 11:55 pm

    Beautiful photographs and I enjoyed learning about your house.

  5. July 16, 2013 8:36 pm

    I love how you embrace the history of your house!

    The texture and charm of your surroundings is apparent in these Great pictures!

    Thanks for the Grand tour!


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