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Gallery: Chance to step back in time at unique 1920s house in Aldeburgh

15:33 10 December 2012

Gemma Woolnough pours a cuppa for Simon James in the 1920's Holiday House front room on Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh Suffolk.

Gemma Woolnough pours a cuppa for Simon James in the 1920's Holiday House front room on Saxmundham Road, Aldeburgh Suffolk.


IT is a snapshot of days gone by when King George V was on the throne, Conservative Stanley Baldwin was Prime Minister and Heinz Baked Beans were first manufactured in the UK.

And now visitors to Aldeburgh can get a unique taste of what life was like in 1928 thanks to a very special house.

The historic property on Saxmundham Road has been recently returned to all its former glory by holiday lettings agency Best of Suffolk.

To celebrate the completed work the company teamed up with the Cragg Sisters Tearoom and the Kenton Hall Estate to host a vintage tea party yesterday.

The restored property was originally owned by William Newson, who worked at Aldeburgh bricklayers WC Reade & Co, and his wife Rachel. Together with their daughter, Joan, they lived in the house all of their lives, until the later’s passing in 2009.

It then stood empty with all of its period furnishings still in place - an original invoice from the 1920s reveals that the very same furniture remains in the house, unchanged except for some fresh coats of polish.

Alex Tarry, who runs Best of Suffolk with his wife, Naomi, viewed the property when it came onto the market and he was keen to ensure it remained as it was.

“Saving interesting and historic buildings has become very important to us,” he said. “When we came to have a look around we just fell in love. It was like walking into a time warp. Nothing had been taken away - there were photo albums, birth certificates and all sorts. It’s a real insight into what life would have been like for a hard working family in 1928. As such we felt a great responsibility to try and preserve that. We didn’t want to see the house changed.”

Over the last year or so Mr Tarry and a team of local craftsmen - including metal workers JT Pegg & Sons Ltd, carpenters Church and Gooderham and Middleton builder Gary Buckingham - have worked to sympathetically restore the house.

The original oil bound distemper paint was analysed and reproduced and the exterior colour is now exactly as it would have looked when the house was new, while the original Crittal window frames have also been restored using correct-to-period Douglas-fir.

Mr Tarry continued: “Too often the focus of restoration rests on mansions and manors. But this was a chance to retain a unique piece of social history for the every day worker.

“It was about the Newson family and what it would have been like in 1920s Aldeburgh.”

To help preserve the historic items found in the house a special museum room has been created, which people can visit by contacting Best of Suffolk. The house is also available as a holiday rental.

For more details visit or call 01728 638962.


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