As a teenager, Cherry Lodge never had friends round to her family home. She’d sooner die than reveal the mortifying truth: a tangle of old, metal bed frames blocking the stairwell, and rusty, broken boilers spilling from the kitchen into the garden.
Stacks of unopened letters, some received decades ago, and newspaper cuttings dominated the sitting room. The bath, home to her father Bert’s collection of wood offcuts, was unusable.
‘As a child, I always knew something wasn’t right,’ Cherry, now 55, remembers. ‘My dad would keep everything with the intention of fixing it up or using it at some stage. The problem was he never got rid of anything.’