Inside a bomb-damaged former coach house in Putney unchanged since its 1950s renovation into a family home

London was just beginning to recover from the destruction of the Second World War in 1951. Bomb-damaged buildings were commonplace, and rationing was still in effect. There were signs of a brighter future. The Festival of Britain was a showcase of British design, manufacturing, and manufacturing. It also featured Stonehouse Cottage, an East Putney-based Victorian coach house and stable that had been converted from Victorian. Although London is no longer as well-known today as it was in 1948, the four-bedroom home has not changed much in the 71 years since its purchase. Peter Hunt, Peter Hunt’s father, noticed a For Sale sign while walking along the streets. He was 6ft 3 and could see the property, which had been bombed from part of its east wing. Hunt, a retired chartered surveyor, said that Hunt rushed to make an offer and he did so because he was concerned that people would be interested in it. His father, Graham was a solicitor so he was able to close the sale within a few days and pay GBP2,500. The building had been used as a garage tyre shop and was now being converted into a house. He said, “If I don’t get permission to do the things I want, we’ll just live with our caravan until we can.” Hunt says that we did have a caravan that was stored next to the house. We used it for camping every year. Peter Hunt and Christopher Hunt outside the property in 1950s / Handout. However, it was not necessary. Instead, the Hunts hired an architect firm to rebuild the section that was damaged and make the entire house. Hunt says that everything was scarce after the war so it was done in a very basic fashion and has not been touched since. It’s a very basic house inside, but the beautiful windows are the highlight. Although the rooms are large, some of the decor is a little outdated. “A postwar time capsulePeter outside East Putney home today / Matt WrittleIndeed” Comparing the images in the Ideal Home magazine, many taken by Graham, a keen amateur photographer, with the photos from today shows little has changed in the seven decades that the family lived there. The Victorian stable windows and post-war kitchen units are still in place. There are four bedrooms upstairs, one of which was Valerie’s sewing area. “My father owned offices in Mayfair, and when his office building was being renovated, he saved a large old bath that had been used by women of the night. Hunt says it still features in the bathroom. Stonehouse Cottage has not changed in the 71 years that Peter and Christopher bought the property. Matt WrittleThe 105ft-long, ivy-lined pit is actually a derelict swimmingpool that the family built in the late Fifties. My mother was inspired by a story about a man who built his own swimming pool with concrete fence panels and vinyl liners. She thought it would be great fun. My godfather was working in London at the time and my son was living with me. Together they dug a 6ft hole and built a plunge pool. It doesn’t have heating or a pump. We would add chlorine to keep the water clear. When the water became murky, one would simply go to the bottom and pull out the bath plug. The water would drain through a channel that we dug in the garden to the sewer. Then we would fill it with a hose. “We had many school friends who lived around us and were thrilled to have a plunge pool in our garden. “A mysterious, ivy covered pit in the 105ft-long garden is actually a derelict pool that the family built themselves in late Fifties / Winkworth. The house is set back from the busy streets in East Putney. It is far from the semi-rural neighborhood surrounded by orchards where the family first moved in when the boys would cycle along quiet roads to Wimbledon and then spend their money at the toy shop on Saturdays. The Ministry of Defence made the land a depot for army vehicles. “As children, we were allowed to ride in tanks or armoured cars. It was great fun.” The depot was eventually disbanded and MoD housing now occupies the land. A new futureHunt lived there until he got married in the early Seventies. He then moved to Esher with his brother, who lives in Cornwall. Peter Hunt’s father Graham bought the building for GBP2,500 in 1948. He then applied for planning permission to make it a family home / Matt WrittleGraham passed away in 1979, and Valerie remained in the house until her passing in 2009. Hunt hopes to keep it, renovate and extend it. He and Christopher decided to sell the property with Winkworth for GBP2.75million. “I would love to live in this house, but we don’t want to move back to London after moving further away. I wish we could buy the house and put it on a different plot. The next owner could make the house more modern with central heating. READ MOREIslington Time Capsule House: This Georgian property has been in the family for 100 years. It is up for sale at GBP2.25m. Highgate time capsule house: A modernist Highgate property, with almost untouched interiors, for sale at A-list street. My father bought a large roll of corrugated papers and rolled it across the living area to keep it warm. It had probably one or two radiators at first. Heating was probably added in the Sixties. But it was never a warm home. Double glazing could make it warmer, and insulate much more easily. People want to be warm, so we wore jumpers. “Hunt also has permission to expand the kitchen, but we don’t want the house to lose its character. We hope nobody does.” Surprisingly, this unusual house is not listed. “It could still be the case that it gets redeveloped. I won’t likely return to see what they have done. It could be demolished or altered in a dramatic way, but I would rather keep it the same as it was.”