'We sleep in a classroom': Couple sell their school home
PUBLISHED: 10:27 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:27 03 December 2019
Many people can't wait to leave school but this couple go to bed every night in a classroom and sit outside in a playground.
That's because Rachel and Philip Thrussell have converted a school into a home they're now selling for £550,000.
The Thrussells bought Coltishall Infant School, built in 1914, in 1995 for just £70,000 from Norfolk County Council.
They moved in to the building in Rectory Road with their two children, then aged three and five, with no kitchen, outside loos and sleeping on mattresses on the floor. But after six months work and lots of repairs over nearly a quarter of a century, the school is now very much a fully modernised, beautiful home.
There are, however, many reminders of when it was a school; outside you can see what would have been the playground and there's even old markings on the wall where ball games would have been played by pupils.
The school was built in 1914 to accommodate 114 children but closed because of the need to modernise it, with the toilet block originally situated outside.
Mr Thrussell, a former RAF Coltishall aircraft technician, said they bought the school after he was made redundant when the military base closed.
"I wanted something with a decent-sized garden and we saw the school, it was just a shell, the toilets were outside and it was for sale for sealed bids. We couldn't believe it when our bid was acceped but we had to move quickly so we had to sleep on a mattress on the floor. The only thing we did was get the heating working so we weren't cold.
"You can see it was a school, there is a long hall which would have been the corridor with classrooms off it and the benefit is really large windows, the sun streams through."
The couple are selling to retire to a smaller property. "We've loved living here," Mr Thrussell added.
The house, for sale with Fine & Country, has four bedrooms.
Its front door and porch is exactly how it would have looked as children poured in for the start of lessons and inside, the structure is largely the same as it would have been all those years ago.
The living room and dining rooms are in former classrooms like the bedrooms and the old school cloakroom pegs are still intact along with some cupboards and radiators.
Helen Plumstead, the agent selling the house, said: "There's nothing else like it and it's in such a good setting."