By Euro Weekly News Media • 19 August 2020 • 19:17
Guy and Julie Vass are offering their beautifully restored Georgian home in a prize draw to support their local hospice, the NHS and other charities through these tough times.
Julie, who works for a GP surgery, and retired husband Guy, bought Melling Hall, a stunning Grade II listed Georgian house; 18 years ago and have spent the last ten years lovingly restoring it. The beautiful three storey home with a sweeping driveway, a kitchen that has jumped straight out of a designer magazine, a two storey high entrance hall with a spectacular staircase, three double bedrooms with panelled shutters and their own bathrooms, plus a self-contained 2-bed loft apartment and mature gardens is now being offered in a prize draw of just £2.50 per entry. So for (the price of a coffee?) just £2.50 you could find yourself living there – imagine how wonderful that would be?
Guy told us more about Melling Hall, “When we first bought the Hall it was in desperate need of TLC. We started with the roof using local Burlington slate so it was in keeping with the area and then worked down. For us it was so important to make sure that everything is in keeping with the original character so we fitted cast iron radiators in every room, refurbished all the original sliding sash windows, renovated the panelled shutters for the windows and every door. In fact the joiner was here for six months; people must have thought he had moved in with the family! We used only local craftsmen and worked hard ourselves to bring the house back to what you can see today. It’s now ready for the next 250 years.
Attention to detail is everything in these renovations, so wherever possible original materials were re-purposed such as re-using all the original flooring in slate, stone flag or oak. The finest floor is in the butler’s sitting room, now the dining room, which just shows how important that role was in a Georgian Hall! Even the fireplaces were part of the project, because we were determined to bring the original fireplaces in local Dent marble back to their former glory.
When it came to decorating, we decided to keep it simple and let the fine workmanship in the plasterwork and woodwork speaks for itself. We used heritage colours, Victorian and Georgian, but always in paler shades because, for us, you can never have too much light!
Having said all that, the house is just a fantastic place to live! It gives you everything you could want in a house – great style, tons of space and lots of fun! Although obviously not a small house, the rooms are so well proportioned that they are always warm and welcoming and just great spaces to be in.
We’ve had a New Year’s Eve do for a hundred guests; 18th and 21st birthdays, dinner parties in the dining room; breakfast for weekend guests at the farmhouse kitchen table, summer lunch outside on the terrace and quiet evenings sharing a bottle of wine in front of the sitting room fire with a friend. When it comes to entertaining, the house just takes it all in its stride.
The two bed room self-contained loft apartment is a bonus and gives excellent views across the countryside from every window. It would also be a great base for running a business from home.
We have created a beautiful mature garden at the rear and parking for up to 10 cars at the front. With people realising the need to sometimes work from home plus be able to enjoy the space and countryside around them Melling Hall offers all of this and more.
Melling Hall sits at the centre of a quintessentially English village. Close by there is the bustling market town of Kirkby Lonsdale – named in 2019 as the best place to live in the Northwest of England. It’s great for commuting too as you can be on the M6 in 15 minutes and in Manchester or Liverpool in an hour or so, whilst still living in unspoiled and beautiful countryside.
So why not just sell the house in the usual way?
Guy explained why ‘now’ is the time,
“My Mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was 16 years old and died when I was in my early twenties. She was well cared for at the end and I always knew I wanted to do something. Many years have passed and my head and my heart say this is the right time; Julie and I have worked hard, brought up our two wonderful children here. It’s now time to downsize and rather than just putting the house on the market we decided to take the chance to do something significant to help the local community by looking after our local hospice, the NHS and other deserving charities. End of life care is the one thing no-one wants to talk about but it’s the one thing that everybody needs so Julie and I want to play our part in supporting it.
“These are very difficult days and even though we are moving out of lockdown, our hospices and caring organisations will take years to recover the lost funding. Julie, who is a key worker for the NHS, used to work for a small arts and mental health charity, so she knows how demanding fundraising can be and therefore how important it is for people to support charities. For smaller charities to raise the money they need and have their voices heard it’s been impossible when all the runs, walks and events have been cancelled because of coronavirus.
“Julie and I have loved living here with the children and our dog Toby and now the time is right for someone else to have this fantastic chance to enjoy it as a family home, make a business here or have a weekend getaway. We have this opportunity to help St John’s and other charities such as NHS Charities Together when they are under such enormous pressure so we’re acting on it!
“Julie and I know from experience that it costs money to raise money, so I am doing everything I can to keep the fundraising costs to a minimum so the proceeds can go to the charities that really need it.”
The house was recently professionally valued at £900,000. St John’s Hospice and the additional charities will receive £100,000 if Julie and Guy achieve the minimum number of ticket sales, but the intention is to raise a maximum so that the all the charities will receive £200,000 between them. In the unlikely event the minimum target is not met they will still hold the draw and the charities will receive a cash prize of 20 percent of net sales and the winner will receive 80percent. You can enter for free and there’s even a special offer because for every 4 tickets you buy, you get one free!
There is even a second prize of £5,000, which will be shared between the two Entrants who have created the highest number of ticket sales by informing other people of the existence of the Draw, so there is more than one way to win.
Catherine Butterworth, director of income generation, St John’s said, “What an incredible thing to do to support our charity! The timing could not be better – we have had to cancel so many of our major fundraising events because of corona virus. The virus has also meant that we have had to close our lovely café and popular shops so every way we turn our fundraising streams are drying up.
“The house is just beautiful, it’s in a stunning setting of rolling countryside with wildlife views from every window and sits in the crossroads of access to National Parks, the Lakes and motorway access.
“It’s the dream in two ways – definitely the dream home to live in and absolutely the dream gesture for St John’s Hospice. Prize draw tickets are only £2.50 so please do buy some tickets so that we can carry on caring for our community and so you have the chance to win this home or at the very least the proceeds! You don’t even need to leave your house to take part – just buy the tickets from your sofa. Please, please take part and good luck.”
Tickets are on sale now and can be bought via www.winacountryhall.com, this page also shows the terms and conditions.
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