Channel 4 show George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces to visit transformed sewage works in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 18:33 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:34 17 January 2018
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Norwich tattoo parlour owner Reuben Youngblood has created an incredible chill-out area for his family in an underground water tank that was once part of a sewage works in Sea Palling - George Clarke will feature the build on Channel 4 this week
TV architect George Clarke is returning to Norfolk on Thursday to revisit Reuben Youngblood who he first met when the Norwich tattoo artist transformed a Victorian railway carriage into a family home and who has now created a ‘unidome’ from an old sewage plant.
George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces will be back in the county to see how Reuben has spotted the potential in another unpromising looking space and created a unique chill-out room in the former sewage works off Church Road in Sea Palling.
With a self-supporting dome roof and a circular carp pond, the ambitious build reflects Reuben’s earlier build where he also had no architectural plans and worked with help from talented friends on an extremely low budget.
Reuben, who runs Rude Boys Tattoo Studio in Orford Place in Norwich, lives with his two children Jack and Maggie and their three dogs close to the seaside resort and first featured on the Channel 4 show in 2014 when, with the help of friends and volunteers, he created a brand new home for his family for less than £7,000.
The trio had been living in a one-room showman’s wagon but a fortuitous swap with his uncle saw Reuben exchange a truck for a third-class Victorian railway carriage which became the heart of his new home.
George said: “It’s not unusual to find yourself short of space as your kids grow up but it takes a lot of vision to convert a late 1800s railway carriage into a new home and it’s even more of a challenge when you don’t have any plans to work from or any budget. But none of that has deterred Reuben.”
With an open-plan lounge and kitchen furnished with repurposed and salvaged items, Reuben gave each of his children an identically-sized bedroom, built a bathroom and created a space of his own with a pull-down mattress in the hallway.
“A lot of people have these big budgets and teams of people helping them and all we’ve got is brute force and ignorance,” he said on the show, “there’s no budget. That’s the plan. As long as you’ve got a pencil behind your ear and a chainsaw, you can build it.”
The resulting build, with the railway carriage re-painted in Colchester Crimson in the middle of the building which trebled the size of the original rail wagon, was declared by George to be “bonkers, crazy but beautiful”.
“My granddad thinks I’m really posh for having a shower,” laughed Reuben, who describes himself as a “modern gypsy” and who utilises natural resources as much as possible by having a rainwater shower system , solar panels and wind turbines, “he was 50 years in a wagon and he thinks I’m posh!”
On Thursday, George will return to Norfolk to find out more about Reuben’s latest architectural coup: turning an old sewage works into a relaxation area for the family.
He will see how Reuben transformed an old underground water tank into an amazing space to be proud of. George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces is on Channel 4 at 8pm and will also feature a chapel made of concrete ribbons in Japan and a dilapidated treehouse in the Midlands being salvaged by a father and daughter team for just £300.