Greenbank Park is an elegant small park with a lake. It was originally part of the estate of the Rathbone family, famous Liverpool philanthropists.
According to locals, these swans have only recently returned to Greenbank park, which is a good sign for the water quality. Unfortunately they have just lost their two cygnets, who were accidentally killed by fishermen. It’s very sad and there is talk of banning fishing in the lake.
In other news, the theme of last week was “structural engineering”. The original survey of the house we want to buy revealed an issue that required further investigation. The surveyor recommended a report by a structural engineer to check whether some evidence of structural movement was ongoing or historical. We were called by the bank and told that the mortgage could not be released until this occurred. We got an engineer in the next day, who reassured us that the house was safe and that the bank could release the money. Then, towards the end of the week we received the full original surveyor’s report. Surveyors, we are reliably informed, always make sure they paint the gloomiest picture of any property lest they be sued later for not pointing something out. It was over forty pages long and I spent several hours sifting through the information. In a surveyor’s eyes, damp is likely to penetrate the house through any crevice and rot it from the inside, the waterproofing in the basement might give way at any moment, the drainage system may collapse and the entire roof may one day slip off. We’ll be left standing in our pyjamas surrounded by a pile of rubble. It’s not the most joyful thing to read as you consider sinking all of your money into a property.
What is comes down is that we have added a few more items of repair to our list for the owner, who is an architect and has great contacts in Liverpool’s building trade, and we have been made aware that Victorian properties require ongoing care and maintenance. It’s more expensive to maintain such a property, especially one in a conservation area like ours, but we have reasoned that it’s worth it to live in a house with so much character.
Just remind of this post when I blog about replacing our slate roof in a few years from now.