I have kept an amusing letter from Paul, after he had seen the electric plugs in Woodbourne Rd.  Apparently, they were almost unique, and he was not able to obtain any for his lighting, so he asked me to prepare some extension cables that he would be able to connect to, but in such a funny way.  He signed it "I salute you in Pernod, Paul." 

Returning to Hamilton Avenue

We had been looking for a house, for quite some time, before we found 62 Hamilton Avenue, we had spent our first years of marriage living in a 'Woodbourne' flat in Augustus Road (the name Woodbourne was confusing as Woodbourne Road becomes Augustus Road, after the Westfield Road crossing) here we were very close to Mum and Dad. 

We continued living there for a further 9 months, having bought sixty-two, whilst we carried out major structural improvements and finally, we moved in 1972.  Strange in one way, because before Mum and Dad moved into Grandpa's house, they had lived in Hamilton Avenue at number 71, on the other side of the road, not far from 62 and I had lived there until I was about five years old.  It was always considered one of the nicest roads in Harborne.  

The House Grandpa built - Woodbourne Road

The House Built by Joseph Cohen, Woodbourne Rd +R

I worked out all the structural alterations myself and created plans of how we visualised it all for the builders to use and Trudy dealt with all the decors.  However, we really worked it all out together and were a good team! 

The biggest job was creating our kitchen and dining area, as not only was the kitchen in an awful state, but that side of the ground floor consisted of the hall extending into that area with a door to the small kitchen and another door opposite into what was a study.  Between the study and the kitchen (both rooms had large chimney breasts), behind the hall, was a walk-in larder.  The dining room was across the main hall at the front of the house, quite a long way from the kitchen, which was on the other side of the hall, at the back of the house. 

Our scheme was to open all the kitchen side of the house up and remove the chimneys and fireplaces (required very large steel girders).  The hall would then no longer extend into this area, instead just one door would lead into this open plan space that would consist only of the kitchen and a dining room.  The original dining room became our television living room, and the larger lounge would remain for entertaining.

This was not all, because we built in part of what was an outside yard with brick outhouses to form a laundry beyond the kitchen.  We also decided the master bedroom was far too large and so we took some of the space away to form a second bathroom. 

Lastly, we moved the boiler out of the kitchen and installed a new one, in our new laundry area, as well as installing central heating throughout the house.  So, for several months our house looked horrendous, but we never regretted any of our alterations and lived very happily there for some 30 years. 

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