No:11 Upton Park

Known as Loft Cottage previously Loft House

For early history of the plot & its development

Loft Cottage has evolved out of Laburnum Villa (no:9). The original part of no:11 was converted from the stable and coachhouse of no:9 in 1953/4. The 1954 Park ledger shows it having a council rateable value of 14 and reducing no: 9 from 32 to 29. Interestingly the 1950s OS survey records the name Loft House not stating Laburnum Villa (no:9) even though all other house names are shown. The 1959 UPPA Minutes note the erection of two garages. During the early 1970's; the property was extended to how it is today.

From the age of the horse and carriage through until after WW2 it appears that the stable and coachhouse fell into disuse. Miss Trant returning from war service took up weaving as a source of income and installed her loom in the coachhouse. As she aged this became impractical and the Trant sisters were faced with more extensive property than they needed and yet with little source of income. The idea was muted that J C Parkers (builders) could modify the stable/coachhouse into a 2up 2down house for the Trant sisters and they could rent out the no:9 as a source of income. Clearly this was seen by some Park stalwarts as a covenant infringement making the building into a triple rather than a double. Others saw it differently with plenty of early precidents - many single and semi properties in fact had two households. It is reported by Robin Parker that Bill Wilson - a key guardian of the covenant - in fact strongly supported this idea as the only practical way for the Trant sisters to remain in the Park. Miss Trant was involved with the running of the Park serving as chairman after the first Bill Wilson chairmanship.

When the last Trant sister died in the early 1970s; J C Parkers acquired the full dwelling of nos:9 & 11 and carried out the extensions on what is now no:11. Elsie Parker and daughter Wendy moved in and a drive was established, hedged from the side garden of no:9 which was rented out.

In 1983 the property was bought by Barry and Christina Graham who were still based in Saudi. Elsie and Wendy later moved to no:7 after its conversion to flats and the Graham family with children Peter and Catherine returned from working abroad in 1988 and took up residence.



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