The Highfield Cottage Story              


Restoration Phase 1 1997 - 2000 

 Jane and Graham, together with Alan Hemmingsen, retired builder and woodwork teacher, formed the core group of restorers and encouraged several others to help out during the project. At times there was quite a team with cob workers including Jane, Graham, Laura and Oliver Batchelor, Alan Hemmingsen, Caroline Thomson, Morris Hall, Neville Smith,  Natasha Walter, and Ken and Liz Batchelor. Garth and Andrew Hurst assisted with fencing, tree removal and providing clay for cobbing.

Many days were spent in weekends and school holidays, rebuilding the slumped cob wall  as well as patching the worst of the holes in the walls where animals had eaten it out and possums were getting in.  The roof was checked over with bog put in the holes and some new nailing. New spouting was placed along the front and a new gully replaced the old leaking one that damaged the wall. Funding was limited to what we could afford ourselves or what we could scrounge off others.

The new fence around the outside had a hot wire added to keep cattle out, old wooden gates from the old Addington Sale Yards were added and a picket front gate was made. It was all starting to look respectable.

About this time the long drop disappeared suddenly one day! It was found down the bank. Apparently a big nor-wester did the job. Lucky no- one was using it at the time! We were going to retrieve it but before we could, another big wind dropped a big branch on it and smashed it to pieces.

When this work was completed we knew that the cottage, although not looking pretty, would live for another day.


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