Pioneering Family

I grew up in the 1960s, long before UPVC. I remember, distinctly, waking up of a winter morning to find frost on the inside of the bedroom windows. It was damn cold. There is nothing like a freezing room to make you get up quickly!

My dad was a carpenter. Taking a design, from the Woodworker magazine I think it was, he bought the timber (‘4 by 3’ or something like that), panes of glass and silica gel. Using a plough plane he made and then fitted our own double glazing.

Shortly after I moved into my first home, in the late 1980s it would have been, I invested in solar heated panels for my hot water; one of the first in the county to do so.

We have always a composted our food waste. Initially it went to feed the chickens that we kept at the bottom of the garden, to supplement dinners and provide eggs. And then into a compost pit which, a year later was dug into our allotment and large garden . . . where a large proportion of our fruit and veg was grown.

Partly this was the era in which I grew up (the 1960s) and partly that we lived in a small village in the country, where we had the land to do all this. But what the the double glazing and the solar panels I can see now that we were pioneering. Our family has always, perhaps, been a bit ahead of the game.

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