Al Jazeera’s ‘wooden’ house has a hidden story
Al Jazeera has learned that the home that sits at the centre of a legal battle over the country’s wood industry has a secret history.
The story is one of an old-fashioned, Victorian era house built in the 1940s and built with a heavy use of wood.
The house has been under siege from the timber industry for decades and it was only recently that it was allowed to remain on the market, as it has been for decades.
The House of Fraser is owned by the former owner, Alton Babbitt, who is suing the government for the right to remain in the UK, claiming that he is entitled to an exemption from the import ban.
Alton says he started buying wood in the early 1960s to help his family, and the home in the town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerydd, south Wales, was one of his main sources of income.
The family lived there for more than 40 years, until the house was torn down by the timber lobby in the late 1990s.
The original building was constructed in 1894, and was rebuilt in 1908 by John Stuart Mill.
The Mill family were the most prominent members of the Mill family who built the house, and it has always been known as ‘the Mill house’.
The family was active in the timber trade, and they sold their own wood to the British Empire for the first time in 1887.
The home’s main feature is a wood burner, which is located inside the house’s roof.
The burner is still in use today, and Alton said it was one reason why he was able to keep the home, despite its history.
He explained that his mother died in the Mill house in 1937 and he never knew why.
He said that the Mill was not very comfortable, and he used to sit in the same room with his mother and he would sit on the burner, watching the fire.
He added that the fire was one the main reasons he kept the house and never sold it.
“There’s no way I could have kept it without having this burning in it,” he said.
The fireplace Alton described as the oldest in the house.
“I remember when I was in my teens I got the first of my two fireplaces, it was in the old Mill house,” he explained.
“It was so old and had been in there for so long.
The fire was burning in there and I would sit there and watch the fire.”
“It’s like a lost and found.
I never got the fireplace and it’s like, ‘Oh well, I’ll just put it down in the shed’.” In the 1980s, Almond Babbit’s son, Alwyn Babbith, began buying wood from the local mill, and from the time he started, Alon Babbity was happy to work with the family.
Alon said he began by making small pieces of wood for the stove, which he then used to heat a range of objects, including a stovetop.
He started making his own fireplace.
Alwyn said that when Alton started to buy the Mill House, he had been looking for something that he could sell in the future.
“When I was growing up I had no interest in selling anything because it wasn’t in the family and I was a bit young,” he recalled.
“So I bought the Mill and then the next thing I knew Alon bought it.
And I’ve got to say it’s a bit like the Millhouse, it’s just a big piece of wood.”
Alwyn and Almond began to work together, and in 1985 they bought the house for about £300,000.
Almond said that Alton’s involvement was a huge help to him, because he would buy the house as he needed it and he could move it around.
“The Millhouse was a very small house and it just got bigger and bigger,” he remembered.
“We could move around it a lot.
The kids used to come up and play there and then they’d get up and walk up the steps to the kitchen and Alwyn would have the kitchen doors open and the stove would be in there.”
Alon continued: “We’d get the children up there and they’d sit on Alwyn’s stove, and we’d have dinner there, and I’d make the stew, and then I’d cook the eggs and the bacon.
And he’d make a stew.”
Almond described the house in a nutshell: “It wasn’t just a house, it had a story.”
A history of the mill The house was purchased by Almond in the 1980