Gransnet forums


Roald Dahl's hut

(37 Posts)
JessM Tue 13-Sep-11 08:02:42

On the Today programme Sophie Dahl was appealing for people to contribute to moving her grandfather's writing hut into a museum. It is currently in the garden where, being "untouched" it is decaying rapidly.
Am I being unreasonable to think that the Dahl estate could easily cough up half a million for this project? Or is there something I should remember about the way he left his money?
But even so - am I being unreasonable to think that, if they wanted to preserve the hut, that they could have popped down to B and Q occasionally for a tin of wood preservative...?
I'm inclined to think his books are his legacy, and not his hut!

Libradi Tue 13-Sep-11 08:12:38

Hmm seems a bit odd that they are having to ask for contributions Jess. Out of curiosity I googled 'Roald Dahl's hut' and came up with a link it's an interactive view of his hut. Looks a bit of a mess to me, apparently that's how he like it smile

JessM Tue 13-Sep-11 08:30:57

Ha - I am laughing. It does, doesn't it. I think the photos would be sufficient record.

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 08:55:26

You beat me to this one Jess. Half a million quid to be raised for a flipping shed. hmm

kittylester Tue 13-Sep-11 08:57:06

My car port is looking a little ropey too - how are you all fixed?wink

nannysgetpaid Tue 13-Sep-11 09:05:41

I've got one as scruffy as his. They can have it for £100,000. I'm not greedy.

glammanana Tue 13-Sep-11 09:05:49

How can half a million £s be acceptable for moving a shed,who are these daft people,I paid standard delivery charge for my shed at Homebase,this stupid amount of money would go down well at our local children's hospice.

absentgrana Tue 13-Sep-11 10:26:10

The books, of course, are the real legacy, but perhaps people want to see the actual shed – more a weeny little outbuilding – where they were written. Heaven knows we have enough theme parks sanitising history. I think the money is required to repair it as it is disintegrating. One would have thought that there would be sufficient funds from the estate, but maybe they're tied up in some trust or something.

harrigran Tue 13-Sep-11 10:46:19

I think they can tootle off and pay for it themselves. The books will continue to bring in royalties or whatever for a long time so they can't be that strapped for cash.

roroism Tue 13-Sep-11 11:13:57

A waste of money if you ask me. His legacy will forever live on through the books.

absentgrana Tue 13-Sep-11 11:22:51

harrigran That depends on who inherited the copyright.

Baggy Tue 13-Sep-11 12:09:14

People go to see Wordsworth's cottage and Haworth Parsonage where the Brontës lived. Same idea. And many half millions of quids are spent on far dafter things.

JessM Tue 13-Sep-11 12:12:53

At school we contributed to the removal of a whole dinosaur and the job was completed for a few thousand. (it was a hideous "work of art" but some people loved it. It is now in a pen in the park...)

Nanban Tue 13-Sep-11 12:39:09

Shouldn't there come a point where we stop raising charitable money preserving any old thing, especially if the person who left it also left a great stash of cash with his nearest and dearest, whose life's work still gathers in royalties and no doubt it will be surrounded by don't touch signs anycase.

absentgrana Tue 13-Sep-11 12:50:23

If there are people who feel this is an appropriate way to commemorate the author and wish to donate money, that's fine. I shall continue to direct my charitable donations to causes that I consider appropriate.

crimson Tue 13-Sep-11 13:10:10

Haven't they just spent a fortune restoring Scott's hut, even though not many of us will ever get to the Antarctic hmm to see it?

Yummygran Tue 13-Sep-11 13:50:38

I went to visit the house in which Dylan Thomas lived and you could also see the converted garage at the end of the lane where he used to hide away and write The cost of the upkeep of this quaint little building is covered by the admission charge of the property I should imagine, so therefore if you are not interested in Dylan Thomas you don't pay to visit his house! The same should apply to Roald Dahl's property. But I would think the millions his estate is making from the sale of all of his books should surely cover the expense of renovating a 'hut'.

roroism Tue 13-Sep-11 13:52:48

Clearly the estate are not interested in giving back the money and this is something Sophie Dahl is doing as a family relative.

Baggy Tue 13-Sep-11 13:54:07

Maybe the Dahls don't think it's worth the cost of restoring and moving it but thought they'd ask to see if anyone else wanted to fork out the money. Just a (lateral) thought.

Mercian Tue 13-Sep-11 14:23:01

From the Roald Dahl Museum

" We need to raise £500,000 to carry out the first phase of this exciting and important project, which involves acquiring, conserving and displaying the interior of the iconic Writing Hut and its contents..... with £250,000 already raised! The second phase, for which we need an additional £500,000....."

When a museum talks about the cost of "acquiring" they mean buying.It would appear that someone sees the chance of getting a shed load of money for something they couldn't even be bothered to maintain themselves.If so then it's all a bit grubby and greedy.How about just giving it to the museum, if it falls down you'll have to pay to have it carted away anyway.

JessM Tue 13-Sep-11 14:26:20

Having seen the photos of the inside I don't think anyone is going to be able to do other than peer through the windows. grin

crimson Tue 13-Sep-11 14:31:12

A shed load of money..for a shed smile. I like that!

JessM Tue 13-Sep-11 14:43:19


See this link for a quality shed not far from here.

Annobel Tue 13-Sep-11 14:47:37

And there's that word 'iconic' again - see the cliché thread!

absentgrana Tue 13-Sep-11 15:02:26

There's a difference between a building that has significance – Durham cathedral, a magnificent piece of architecture and structural engineering as well as a reflection of society over quite a few centuries, Scot's hut in the Antarctic, a unique edifice that speaks of an extraordinary group of men, and somewhere someone famous/well-known/well-connected lived. While I'm not suggesting demolishing houses that were once the homes of such people, I do sometimes wonder why it so interesting to see Charlotte Bronte's nightie, especially as it is displayed in Branwell Bronte's bedroom – a place where I would have expected Emily to have an interest if, of course, any of the sisters did.