Bungalows at Old Denaby – A New Use for Old Coaches

February 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, February 3

A New Use for Old Coaches

Hints to the House-Hungry

Bungalows at Old Denaby

A picturesque colony of bungalows is springing up at Old Denaby. The latest addition, the result of the energy and enterprise of Mr. I Rodgers and Mr. J. Fairhurst, has the advantage of many indoor conveniences and the added attraction of a wide and serviceable verandah.

The bungalows are constructed from Midland Railway carriages, each 43 feet in length. To convey them from the sidings at the Denaby Crossing to the scene of the encampment requires ingenuity and courage almost identical with the lifting of a “Tank” out of a “12-inch” crater. The carriage is lifted, complete, from the railway truck on to a “Wood-cut” or timber wagon, thence up the tortuous hill leading to Old Denaby, so to the site, where, after hours of strenuous struggling with jacks, crowbars, and sleepers, the carriage is persuaded to repose near its ultimate resting-place.

Mr. A. G. Latham, the proud owner of “The Shack” is as happy as a Pioneer in his new home. The kitchen, which is the central portion of the carriage, is full of all manner of comforts. The portable stove should be the boon companion of all who contemplate the backwoods life. On it can be cooked a seven-course dinner. Last Sunday afternoon, in the oven, were baking three loaves and two cakes; seven pans were steaming on the top; bacon was frying on the arm to the front, and water was boiling at the same time. All this is done on a “mere handful of coal”.

When we visited “The Shack”, three of the pet cats were purring happily, the two dogs were barking in high spirits, and “Old Bill”, the parrot, was nodding peacefully on the top of his cage. “Bill” is delighted with things, Mr. Latham told us that the parrot was the best talker in Mexboro´ He has a coat of scarlet and green, and a face like a very old and wise Professor of Economics. His voice has the vigorous note of a healthy schoolgirl of tem. He can sing the first verse of “Sally”, can imitate a squalling baby, and can be rude under provocation.

The waste water from the kitchen sink is conveyed to a cesspool, 60 feet away from the residence. The sediment from this pool is utilised for the purpose of manuring the garden, which is half-an-acre in extent. Between the kitchen and the sitting-room, which is very brightly decorated with gay cretonnes, are the pantry and the bathroom. Over the bed, in austere, plain letters, appears: “No. 13 Excursion Set, 128T”. We were told that everything is beautifully comfortable, but the inhabitants are afraid of a nasty dream; that they will find themselves hitched to a Midland Express and gyrating around the hills at Old Denaby at tremendous speed.

Although “Smoking” is written on four of the kitchen windows, Mr. Latham assured us that the stove had never recognised the notice. The verandah is to look out upon a lawn and flower beds. At present the entrance steps are protected by a barrel, as “Jack”, the horse persisted in calling at the door at breakfast time for stray luxurious scraps.

Almost identical with Mr. Latham´s are two other bungalows, and all three are situated on the Mexboro´ side of the main road through the village, and recently Mr. George Nelson, the ferry keeper, who appears to have been the pioneer in this valiant solution of the housing problem, fitted up a beautiful little railway-coach home for the younger members of his family, near the ferry cottage.

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