Passers-by cannot have failed to notice that the Oak is looking a bit “transitional”. Much has already been done both inside and out, but even more remains to be done.

Inside, the left-hand bar has been stripped out and a dividing wall built in preparation for the arrival of the shop, we hope in late October. A team of volunteers has gone through the garden like a dose of salts. The electricians are now busy upgrading the wiring and installing a state-of-the-art fire alarm system.

We started removing the render on the side wall in order to cure the chronic damp problem which was caused by cement render trapping moisture into the brickwork. We always wanted to remove the render from the front too, partly for the same reason and partly to restore the character to what was a charming old brick house (see photo from Pete Nicholas below). During the open day we had multiple comments asking us to change the lattice windows, and since most of these are damaged in any case, we are planning to replace at least the five front ones with sash windows similar in appearance to the original wooden ones.

We have paused the outside work briefly while we explore the options, but the aim is to remove the rest of the render from the original brickwork (which does not include the RH or rear extensions, nor yet for now the skittle alley) and to clean up the bricks as soon as we can. The new windows will follow in stages.