The Little Yellow Cottage – Update 2

The Little Yellow Cottage – Abbeville

There’s been a huge amount of emergency work over the last two weeks to make me watertight and identify future work.

The concrete pantiles that had become porous over the last few years have been replaced with traditional clay pantiles that James Cook would have seen when I was first built three hundred years ago.  The damaged felt that had been used on my dormers as a cheap solution only 40 years ago has been replaced using traditional lead and wood whilst maintaining the exact shape and dimensions. I think the lead is expensive but it is permanent, unlike the felt. Around the back, the gable roof had collapsed a number of times over the years so the roof has been replaced and the back wall rebuilt reusing hand made bricks that had been reclaimed from a collapsed disused chimney so I’m feeling good at the back and watertight too.

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We’re trying to source a local supplier of hardwood windows for the dormer that can be bought at a price that doesn’t require World Bank intervention, any help with potential suppliers on this one would be appreciated. 

It’s astonishing to think that Lee and his colleagues are touching bricks that were last handled by skilled craftsmen and tradesmen in the late seventeenth century when William Scoresby Senior was inventing the “Crows Nest” and William Scoresby Junior was learning his sea-craft before becoming internationally renowned as an Arctic Explorer.

Whitby is hugely important now for being beautiful, vibrant and welcoming to all at any time of the year but it was equally important three centuries ago for being the third largest boat builder in the country and one of the biggest whale processing ports producing thousands of tons of oil for lamps, cosmetics, soaps and perfumes and also, at that time, bones for corsets and umbrellas. I’ve enjoyed watching the wonderful local people with children playing in the street, all the activity in the harbour, kids learning at school, families going to church and locals using the bar when next door was a pub. It’s been the Steam Packet, The Greenland Fishery and The Steamboat Inn; however, I don’t miss the stench of the whale processing that took place and I’m happier with the tourists and fishermen now. For interest, I’m currently looking out at a very colourful replica of the Endeavour berthed opposite me in the harbour.

The hardboard and plastic that was nailed to my walls thirty years ago have been removed allowing my bricks to breath. I still have concrete on some walls that is not good for my bricks or the lime-based mortar between but I’m waiting for permission from the conservation people to have the rest of it carefully removed.  When granted it will be replaced with traditional lime-based plaster that will be mixed according to an analysis of the original plaster still found in some of the alcoves, I’m looking forward to that.

My lower windows are being inspected for rot or other damage and I’m expecting that they can be repaired rather than replaced and I’m hoping that will also apply to the front door. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

If you’re passing and there’s activity, give the boys and girls a shout, they’re really looking after me and I’m glad they’re around.

Thank you, Whitby, for caring, it’s much appreciated.

Yours with love,

The Little Yellow Cottage.


Justiin Waring’s team is Lee Waring, Ashley Waring, Danny Grady, Mike Brown and John White. Electrical is Steve Parking – I’ll put some pictures up as I get them.

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