“What – if anything – happened to The 1900 House? I can’t find any mention of it on the Greenwich Council website. Did it get sold to a private individual?”
Lord – I’d completely forgotten that 2000 series – where Channel 4 bought a house in Charlton (50, Elliscombe Road) ripped out all the electricity, kitchen and – well anything post-1900 – and took it back to what it would have been like at the turn of the last century. Then they shipped in a rather irritating family to live the life of a late-Victorian household for three months as one of the first (and therefore rather more valid) reality TV doccos.
I thought I’d better take another look at the series – it’s available on Amazon – though if you’re planning to do the same, make sure you get the Region 2 version – apparently the Region 1 edition has a syrupy American voiceover.
The first programme is easily the most interesting to anyone who lives in one of the hundreds of houses like 50 Elliscombe Road round here. It shows how the specialists ripped out a particularly horrible flat conversion – though they admit the very fact that it was so badly done meant that much of the original stuff was still there under layers of hardboard and cowboy extension (which the council, btw, had no record of…)
I was riveted by it. I’ve been in dozens of these houses – and here was one looking just like it would have done. I confess the finished article wasn’t really to my taste – very dark and gloomy and full of clutter, reminding me of my Great Aunt’s house when I was a nipper (yeah, yeah chez Phantom is full of clutter too, but it’s not china doggies or uplifting framed Bible tracts. Well – not many, anyway.) I was particularly amused, on a second viewing, to see, on the wall a print entitled Return of the Sword. How do I know this? Because it turned up every week for about two years at Greenwich Auctions sometime around 2004…
The rest of the programme was mildly interesting, but I found the people annoying – especially wife. She was so bloomin’ grumpy – almost from the start, despite it being her idea in the first place. But then I guess I can be one grumpy Phantom too at times, and perhaps Phantoms had a hard time in those days too, having to loom around M.R. James stories and in Wilkie Collins romances…
There’s a book to go with the series, available from Amazon Marketplace for 1p (+ P&P) which is excellent – compulsory reading for anyone who lives in one of those terraced houses and wants to know what it would have looked like.
But back to RTB’s question. What became of the house?
I’ve done a couple of searches, and the first sale I can find was back in 2000, presumably by Ch 4 after the programme. It went for £180,000. I have no idea what became of it, but I’ll wager it didn’t stay without electricity and central heating for long and I’m presuming that the outside loo has come in from the cold. The place was sold again in March 2002, for £300,000, adding three zeros to its initial Victorian price of £300.
Does anyone know the people now at 50, Elliscombe Road – or do you live there yourself? Let a nosy Phantom know what it’s like now. Did you keep any of the features? What about the outside loo?
I’d just love to know…