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Words: Sarah Winstanley
Photography: Courtesy of Pygott and Crone
Featured in the October 2015 issue

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When Peter and Noni Hammond bought their new build home 13 years ago, there was only one estate agent they would use.

For Noni has worked for Pygott and Crone since the company was established in 1991, first as the Lincoln office manager and then as manager of the Hykeham office for seven years. She is now sales progression manager at the Hykeham office, dealing with sales progress from when an offer is made through to exchange of contracts. “I wouldn’t think of buying a house from anyone else!” said Noni.

When the couple bought Penclanni at South Hykeham, they had been living in Branston with their three children, Claire (now 39), Andrew (35) and Nick (32) for twenty years. By 1991, Claire was at college, but with two teenage boys still at home Peter and Noni were keen to move into a larger home.

“A lot of families find themselves living on top of one another when their children become teenagers, I didn’t want that,” said Noni. “I wanted to keep my children at home for as long as possible so I bought a house big enough so the boys could spend social time with their friends in the house.”

The development of just four executive family homes at South Hykeham by builder Steve Howes was still being built when Peter and Noni went to view it. Their home was just a shell at this stage, which meant the couple could have an input into the final design.

The original design for the house was a lounge, dining room, kitchen and garden room on one side of the house and on the other side, a fifth bedroom and sitting room, whilst upstairs there were four bedrooms, two en suites and a family bathroom. But the couple changed the layout slightly to suit their needs.

Noni said: “We changed the position of the family bathroom upstairs, and downstairs in the massive hallway we created a large shower room and storage cupboard.

“The shower room is near the downstairs bedroom and sitting room. We were conscious that if we were to sell the house in the future, it meant that the downstairs sitting room and bedroom could then be used as a granny annexe.”

It took six months from the day the couple made their offer to the house being completed and the family moved in on 19th December 2001. Noni said: “We moved in just days before Christmas, which was hectic but so exciting. The first thing we did was buy a Christmas tree!”

The house was perfect for their family’s needs. “It was amazing to have so much space,” said Noni. “Usually in a four-bedroomed detached home, there are two big bedrooms and two small ones, but we had four nice big bedrooms which was lovely.

“We called the sitting room the ‘Boys’ Room’ where they had their games, PlayStation and TV and the other room was called the ‘Drum Room’ as our youngest son Nick was into drumming and played in a band. Nick’s friends used to come round to practice but we had the room soundproofed so it didn’t disturb the rest of the family too much.” 

Although Noni, who now has five grandchildren, enjoys her home, the garden with hot tub and decking behind the house is her favourite space. She said: “We’ve done a lot of work on the garden because it was a totally blank canvas. At first we didn’t know what to do with it but then we thought ‘hot tub’!

“After that, whenever our family come round they always come prepared, and invariably someone is in the hot tub splashing about.

“It was so funny the other day when a parent phoned Claire to ask if my seven-year-old grandson Finley had really invited half his class for a hot tub party Apparently, her son was upstairs packing his trunks! Finley hadn’t even mentioned it to me but we’ve arranged for him and his brother Gabriel (6) to bring two friends each at the weekend.”

The security of the property, which stands behind electric security gates and is surrounded by walls, is a bonus. She said: “The access is gated for security. It’s great knowing who is coming to visit and you can phone ahead to open the gates before you arrive or use a fob. It feels nice to have your own space.”

Now, however, as the children have flown the nest, the couple have decided the time is right to downsize. They have placed Penclanni on the market.

Noni said: “It’s a massive house for two people and it’s crying out for a family to enjoy it. We will be sad to leave because we have been very happy here but we want to downsize and move on with our next chapter.

“We have time for a garden now so ideally we would like a cottage in a village location with a nice garden. We’ll have to have a hot tub though because Finlay won’t be happy if we don’t!”

Penclanni at 2 Blackthorn Court, South Hykeham, Lincoln is on the market with Pygott and Crone for £439,000. For more information contact the estate agent on (01522) 568822.

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