With an assortment of scrapers and chisels in hand I have been removing layer upon layer of paint from the woodwork in the bathroom. It is my mission to be able to bathe in a bathroom before winter this year. So I’m doing my bit to help make it happen.
A couple of weekends ago I was scraping the paint away from the door frame and spied some writing. Carefully I took the paint away and found a name: Joseph Ba…… And the date 1796 (I think). I continued on and found a line drawn below the writing and above it.
I was puzzled for a bit until I realised I was stooping down and that I must be looking at the handwriting of a child.
A bit more paint off revealed the name again above it with a date of 179? (Sadly unreadable). I called Gabriel in and stood him near the lines and thought this must be the height of an 8 or 9 year old boy from a couple of hundred years ago!
Well, that was exciting for all of us and I was staring at the surname through one of kids magnifying glasses almost willing the surname to make itself clear to me. However, last weekend a gentleman arrived here and hoped we wouldn’t mind him visiting the old pub because his family used to live here. We asked when and he said in the 1700s. We asked what name and his reply, “Joseph Baster”. Of course we led him upstairs to give him a surprise as I’d only found the name on the door frame a week earlier.
He is researching his family history and he gave us lots of info about our Joseph. I have lots of reading to do and look forward to telling you all about him in a coming post. His father and grandfather (also Joseph Basters) have lived here and have their own stories of brewing, minting their own coins and all sorts of fascinating things.
We were delighted to meet Graham Baster, who also happens to specialise in lime plastering in old buildings and generously offered to give us any tips while we do our own lime plastering here.
After much debate we have asked a local glass firm to cut a small piece of glass to cover the name so Joseph’s story can be retold in generations to come. We’ll just paint round it, it’ll be company for dogs footprints in the brickwork were leaving exposed!