Little cottage on the A47 is enjoying a new wave of interest - but why are the windows and doors yellow?

PUBLISHED: 10:54 05 March 2016

Thelma and Ken Wright were the last residents of Canary Cottage. They moved out in 1965

Thelma and Ken Wright were the last residents of Canary Cottage. They moved out in 1965

Archant

A 260 year-old shepherds cottage is enjoying a new wave of interest after updated photographs and the life of the last couple who lived there were posted on a Facebook group.

Canary Cottage has stood empty since farm workers Ken and Thelma Wright moved out in 1965.

Now, the pair have given some background on the little building with yellow windows and doors, that can be seen peeping out from behind Dalmark grain drier as you drive along the A47 between Guyhirn and Thorney.

Mr Wright moved into Canary Cottage as a 17 year old when his older sister was in residence, but after marrying Thelma in 1960, the couple were offered it as their first marital home.

They lived there until leaving as the final residents in 1965.

The cottage offered basic comforts with no electricity, wall fitted calor gas lighting, an open fire and an outdoor toilet.

They had mains water and a basic gas powered Ascot water heater which saw them through the infamous winter of 1963.

Mr Wright, of Paston, said: “It was very tough. In the fields, we had to use pick-axes to get the frozen soil off the potatoes and our water supply froze solid for weeks!”

Paul Young has visited the cottage for an updated set of photographs to tell the story of the cottage at Knarr Farm which is believed to date back to 1750 when it was built shortly after the drainage of the local fens.

The original owners were the Dixon-Spain tenancy, who owned a number of local farms and identification of plant and machinery was done via the colour-coding of all items.

Knarr Farm was allocated yellow hence the painting of the cottage windows and doors.

It has featured in books, paintings, postcards and was even used to model Pussy Willow Cottage in the collectable 1992 series of Lilliput Lane miniatures.

Owner Peter Fox, managing director of Dalton Seeds, has pledged to look after it for future generations.

“We paint it and try to keep it looking okay from time to time. As far as the future of the cottage, although it isn’t listed, I would like to have it restored one day and keep its history and all the memories going,” he said.

Access is via private land and may only be visited with appropriate permission.

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