Tree House Construction Manual


The weather in Newark in June 1992 was drier than it is at the moment. Today I therefore scanned a batch of colour negatives produced during that month.

Building Tree House 1

Building Tree House 2

The erection of a rather splendid tree house in a false acacia tree in the garden of Lindum House had begun before I began to record it. Sam and Louisa had enlisted the help of brothers Gavin and Ian to begin the project.

Building Tree House 3

Louisa was a willing hod carrier, bearing planks for the flooring;

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further invention was employed for hauling up greater quantities. You may be forgiven for imagining that William Heath Robinson exerted some influence on this ingenuity. One rope was extended from this tree to another on the other side of the lawn. Attached to this was another bearing a faggot of heavy planks hauled across by Sam, in the bottom left of the picture. Gavin, up aloft awaited its arrival. This took me back to Kennards department store in Wimbledon which had a similar system for conveying cash from counter to office. As will be seen from this photograph you cannot keep a lawn while children are young and you have to accommodate a swing and goalposts.

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Gavin and Ian began the task of heaving the floorboards up to the required level.

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Sam was soon up there to add his muscle;

Building Tree House 21

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eventually the materials reached the required level.

Building Tree House 26

The next storey was soon in place.

Building Tree House 27

The roof bore the combined weight of Sam and James Bird.

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Louisa then joined in the test.

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Up to seven or eight children would sleep overnight in this three storey house.

A sequel to the story of this adventure is told in ‘The Tree House’.

This evening we dined on minted lamb steaks; roasted sweet potato, peppers and mushrooms; new potatoes, carrots, broccoli and greens. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank a 2015 Bordeaux.