Old Mill House In Renwick NZ

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The Old Mill House in Renwick, Marlborough NZ built c.1939 which we bought as is in 1981. The property was adjacent to Roy Miller’s sawmill which ceased to operate a few months later. The Californian style bungalow had been leased for several years and was in a very poor condition. Fortunately Roy Miller had built it with heart Rimu. Weatherboards, floorboards, window frames.  (image: McCormick Real Estate)


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Preparing the kitchen for a complete renovation including a huge glasshouse window to replace the single casement.

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The new kitchen cupboards and bench were built and installed by Kevin Gallop. Sadly we can’t locate any photos of the transformed kitchen.

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Exterior of house painted by John Mills and his team, French doors installed into what was a blank wall and all rotten window frames replaced. My partner Paul  Brooks built the new wooden deck and the steps leading from the new garage to the house.

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The rear of the house after the exterior had been painted. Note the huge concrete chimney and the partially dismantled old garage on the left



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The walls and ceilings throughout the house were constructed in heart Rimu sarking covered by dilapidated elephant board, which we had to remove, rat droppings and all. Paul lined all the walls and ceilings with gib board and Mr Bothwell (can’t recall his first name) did a wonderful job of the plastering. Note the hand painted Mason wallpaper which Paul and I hung. We also painted all the ceilings. The dining room at the far end was originally a very small bedroom. Paul removed the wall between it and the living area to open it up. The wall of windows to the right of the photo were eventually replaced with two sets of French doors.


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The garden (with tent for guests who were staying with us at the time) beside  the BBQ covered in the creeper Clematis Montana,  which we built out of the old water tank beside the house, and which towered above the house. My sons Anthony and Douglas helped Paul with jack hammering the tank to line up with the new fence and we then planted a flowering creeper to hide the uneven concrete the tank was made out of. Roy Miller made the stone filled concrete strong enough to rival the Romans! Paul’s brother Russell Brooks helped us to remove the unwanted segment of the water tower with his machinery.


L to R: David Revill, John Dixon, Douglas Revill, Paul Brooks with Anne Frandi-Coory and Loraine Dixon on Anne’s right, all trying out the new steps up to the re-bricked BBQ.




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Aerial shots of 9 Wilson Street and the properties surrounding it. (image: Graham Brooks) Wilson Street consisted of 3/4 of an acre when we bought it. We eventually sub-divided the land area and sold it to Bert….. can’t recall his surname, who worked for a vineyard at the time. His two-storey house is directly behind our house as shown in the photo.

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Image: Graham Brooks

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The old garage and shed we eventually removed with the help of sons who enjoyed pulling it to pieces!


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Paul preparing the foundations for the new garage to be built by Fishers Skyline Garages, at the bottom of our driveway up to the house.

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The new garage



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Paul and I showing off our new Mazda RX7 at the rear of our property before we sub-divided and sold the section.








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Paul used to drive to Christchurch in the RX7 to visit me in Christchurch while I was at Canterbury University…he used to make the trip in 3 hours, quite a feat in those days, except of course for Russell Greer who often passed him on the road!!


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The graveled area is visible beside the two cars just to the right of the new garage at the bottom of the bank of roses, where we could sit and chat to friends and family. The row of willow trees was planted because heavy rain caused minor flooding at street level. Paul Brooks and I sold the house in 1998 and eventually moved to Melbourne where we live now.


Renwick flooding



All the above  images and text are copyright to Anne Frandi-Coory All Rights Reserved 23 November 2015










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