The cottage was always known as Barrett cottage named after old Sam Barrett. Sam had died there the previous Easter, Desmond and Barbara Lovatt bought it, as a decease estate, in January 1981. His wife had pre-deceased him. Apparently he was well-known in the village for being an eccentric, but a man of a number of talents.
Lovatt’s sold the cottage in 1998 Barbara handed to the new owners a dossier she had compiled. It contained pictures and descriptions of our restoration, plus artefacts discovered under the building or in middens that were abundant. Among the artefacts, were some “tokens”. As coinage was in short supply, many firms, large shops etc made their own tokens which were in lieu of coin of the realm. There is information on the internet about such coinage as part of Te Papa’s collection.
Desmond and Barbara carefully peeled off layers of wallpaper down to the scrim, and newspapers used as wall-paper, and strips of cloth pasted along the gaps between the wall-boards to seal them.
They designed the Colonial garage which was built by a local garage
On obtaining a building permit, they moved the cottage from the street front, as, West Street was designated as the towns potential by-pass. The survey pegs will still be there and they were allowed to retain the street front gate added a wicket fence but were not permitted to have any buildings across that frontage.
Pope Bros. moved the cottage back one cottage length and south one cottage length, onto prepared new piles. Will Holmes then built on a back section with the same roofline and footprint of the original cottage. This provided a kitchen, dining room, ablution and laundry and back verandah and Desmond and Barbara did all the finishing, wall-papering painting and staining both inside and out.
Written by Barbara Lovatt
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