Not bad, not bad

At his 90th birthday party Tempest slid down the bannisters for a final time, showing his grandchildren how it should be done.

Although perhaps something for us all to remember when talking about fuel poverty:

Henry Tempest was living in a nondescript 1960s house in Oxfordshire when he unexpectedly inherited Broughton Hall, an unheated, 97-room, grade I listed pile near Skipton, in North Yorkshire. It had a leaking roof, a heap of debt and death duties of 65 per cent were due. He had to flog some of the family silver, paintings, books and even the local pub, the Tempest Arms, to keep his head above water.

Then, rather than taking the easy way out and selling up, Tempest set about turning the estate, which had been in the family since 1097, into a success, drawing on his experience of creating a farm from scratch in Africa. He got the family out of farming, instead letting the 2,700 acres for grazing. He converted many of the estate’s outbuildings into a business park, which is now home to dozens of companies employing about 600 people.

The idea that the inside of a house should be a generally warm area is a very modern one indeed.

7 comments on “Not bad, not bad

  1. It probably was quite warm enough when a fleet of housemaids kept coal fires going in every room …

  2. It probably was quite warm enough when a fleet of housemaids kept coal fires going in every room

    Even warmer if that’s not all they had to do. 😉

  3. Historically (even up to the 1970s), the inside of your house was expected to be dry and warm*er* than the outside. Certainly not sit around in T-shirt and pants warm.

  4. Tim,

    I held myself in check, but I was all the time thinking about the poor girls on their hands and knees, buttocks in the air …

    … and breathing in all those pollutants!

  5. Excavator Man – “I held myself in check, but I was all the time thinking about the poor girls on their hands and knees, buttocks in the air …”

    Dressed in French maid outfits? Not sure I would hold myself in check.

  6. “Tempest set about turning the estate, which had been in the family since 1097”: I suspect that it may have been ‘said’ to have been in the family since 1097. Though if someone can demonstrate that it really had been, I’ll withdraw my scepticism.

  7. About 5 years ago my grandmother relented and allowed us to buy her a heater for her house. She had never had one and simply didn’t see the point – if she was cold she “put another jersey on”.

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