Anyone who has been coming to Coombe Mill will know we have a collection of old riverside lodges which are no longer rented and looking increasingly out of place sandwiched between the traditional style brick cottages and wooden Scandinavian lodges. The temporary shed like buildings that were the riverside lodges date back to the 1970s; we have been reducing them in number since we took over Coombe Mill in 2002. Last year we finally took the decision to apply for planning permission to replace them all with Scandinavian lodges and take the hit from not renting them any longer. To be frank they were not up to standard and their size and poor build meant they never could be the accommodation we wanted. Over the years we have converted one into a Gym, another into a new reception and we have just finished converting a third into a games room. this will be for older children following our successful refit of the junior soft play barn.
A helping hand for the village playground
However small they may have been when it comes to emptying them there is a surprising amount to come out, and since we don’t like to have anything substandard this included some quality beds, mattresses and home furnishings together with plenty of less perfect bits and bobs that all needed to go somewhere. The older style of these lodges didn’t fit with either our cottages or newer lodges which are all contemporary inside so we decided to team up with the village shop and offer to run a weekend drop in sale with all proceeds going towards the village playground appeal. The shop kindly helped us advertise by putting up our posters on their notice board for the week before, I popped notices on facebook and our cleaners helped us to spread the word.
In preparation we loaded all the items into the bottom of our old reception and the ever useful craft tent. Thank goodness for helpful strong teenage boys who made lifting cookers, fridges and furniture look easy. They had all the hard work done in no time, leaving me hours later still moving trays, glasses and bedding!
Nick turned some of the old plasterboard into signage to help people arriving on the day.
The triplets were given floats and a sale list and put in charge of room each with a radio. They soon began to compete between them over who could sell the most. Nick, Amber and I were on hand to answer questions throughout.
It wasn’t a huge turnout but we raised over £200 for the village playground appeal and reduced the landfill quota significantly as what remained was destined for the dump. Our local shop keeper and Councillor was delighted to receive the cheque from Farmer Nick.
With the rooms cleared we had the men in white coats in to remove the asbestos from the lodges before continuing with our games room project. This has been work in progress since the New Year and finally complete just in time for Easter.
Speaking of Easter, we have just a couple of lodges left if you fancy a farm break with new born lambs and more to enjoy, not to mention a games room and play barn for when the April showers come!
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.