50 years and it's stayed virtually the same: The house that's frozen in time


John Collingwood

While the rest of the nation may be obsessed with buying new and shiny things to clutter their home with, a select few believe in using what they have, and saving their pennies.

John Collingwood has taken this to the extreme. He still lives in the house in West Bridgford, Nottingham, where he was born 79 years ago, and very little has changed in that time.


The retired textile worker doesn't believe in throwing things away just because there's something newer and more fancy on the market. He still uses the cooker his mother bought some 65 years ago, and the 1965 fridge.

He still has the WWII air raid shelter in the back garden too, which his mother converted into a laundry room.

And rather than splashing his cash on entertainment, he still uses a wind-up gramophone and a radio from 1950.

Some things even pre-date Collingwood: the bathroom fittings were installed in 1925. Although, there are a few things which have succumbed to the march of time. He has, for example, installed central heating.

He told the Metro newspaper: "I don't want to change anything. I want to keep it exactly how my parents and brother left it.' He added: "I think it's funny how people are always buying new things."

Check out John Collingwood's house in the gallery below:

The house that hasn't changed in 50 years

The house that hasn't changed in 50 years


The resurgence 1950s and 1960s style means that some of the items he has are in high demand. He told The Express that he has been offered cash for some of his period furniture. It's not surprising given that quality vintage furniture from the 1950s and 60s can fetch better prices than older antique pieces.

Vintage armchairs from the period, for example, can sell for anything between £50 and £1,000 depending on the quality. Vintage radios in perfect working order from the 1950s tend to fetch around £20 for the most common types, but can be worth hundreds of pounds for rarer models. Likewise wind-up gramophones can fetch anything between £30 and £300.

Clearly, though, these things are worth far more to Collingwood - who likes to think that even though his parents died 50 years ago, they would still walk in and recognise the house from that day. And you cannot put a price on a sentiment like that.

Frozen in time

Collingwood is an unusual character, but he is far from the only person to own a home that has been frozen in time.

We wrote this summer about 5-7 Blythe Grove in Worksop, which remained frozen in the 1920s until the last of the family moved out in 1985. At that point The National Trust took over the property, which still had Bovril and tinned sardines on the larder shelves.

Then there was the clothes shop in Bowes Park in North London, which became a relic of the late 1990s, after the owner retired and couldn't bring themselves to pack everything away.

It seems that not everyone is obsessed with buying the latest, and fanciest things. And as Collingwood shows, it's perfectly possible to be very happy without them.

Inside the £450k hoarder house

Inside the £450k hoarder house

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