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'We sleep in a classroom': Couple sell their school home

PUBLISHED: 10:27 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:27 03 December 2019

Current owners, Rachel and Philip Thrussell in the living room. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Current owners, Rachel and Philip Thrussell in the living room. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Many people can't wait to leave school but this couple go to bed every night in a classroom and sit outside in a playground.

The date on the wall of the converted school to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe date on the wall of the converted school to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

That's because Rachel and Philip Thrussell have converted a school into a home they're now selling for £550,000.

The Thrussells bought Coltishall Infant School, built in 1914, in 1995 for just £70,000 from Norfolk County Council.

They moved in to the building in Rectory Road with their two children, then aged three and five, with no kitchen, outside loos and sleeping on mattresses on the floor. But after six months work and lots of repairs over nearly a quarter of a century, the school is now very much a fully modernised, beautiful home.

The school converted to a house, and playground, at Coltishall, which is up for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house, and playground, at Coltishall, which is up for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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There are, however, many reminders of when it was a school; outside you can see what would have been the playground and there's even old markings on the wall where ball games would have been played by pupils.

The school was built in 1914 to accommodate 114 children but closed because of the need to modernise it, with the toilet block originally situated outside.

Mr Thrussell, a former RAF Coltishall aircraft technician, said they bought the school after he was made redundant when the military base closed.

The school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. A painted circle on the wall of the playground. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. A painted circle on the wall of the playground. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"I wanted something with a decent-sized garden and we saw the school, it was just a shell, the toilets were outside and it was for sale for sealed bids. We couldn't believe it when our bid was acceped but we had to move quickly so we had to sleep on a mattress on the floor. The only thing we did was get the heating working so we weren't cold.

"You can see it was a school, there is a long hall which would have been the corridor with classrooms off it and the benefit is really large windows, the sun streams through."

The couple are selling to retire to a smaller property. "We've loved living here," Mr Thrussell added.

The house, for sale with Fine & Country, has four bedrooms.

The schoo converted to a house, and playground, at Coltishall, which is up for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe schoo converted to a house, and playground, at Coltishall, which is up for sale. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Its front door and porch is exactly how it would have looked as children poured in for the start of lessons and inside, the structure is largely the same as it would have been all those years ago.

The living room and dining rooms are in former classrooms like the bedrooms and the old school cloakroom pegs are still intact along with some cupboards and radiators.

Helen Plumstead, the agent selling the house, said: "There's nothing else like it and it's in such a good setting."

The school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. One of the windows separating the corridor from the original classrooms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. One of the windows separating the corridor from the original classrooms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The  school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The original school wood panelling school cupboard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The original school wood panelling school cupboard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The living room and dining room, which can be separated by the folding window doors. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The living room and dining room, which can be separated by the folding window doors. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

One of the windows separating the corridor from the original classrooms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOne of the windows separating the corridor from the original classrooms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Original coat hooks. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOriginal coat hooks. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The long corridor. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The long corridor. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. One of the windows separating the corridor from the original classrooms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. One of the windows separating the corridor from the original classrooms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The  school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. A former classroom as a bedroom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. A former classroom as a bedroom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The living room and dining room, which can be separated by the folding window doors. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The living room and dining room, which can be separated by the folding window doors. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The living room and dining room, which can be separated by the folding window doors. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe school converted to a house at Coltishall, which is up for sale. The living room and dining room, which can be separated by the folding window doors. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & CountryThe former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & Country

The former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & CountryThe former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & Country

The former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & CountryThe former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & Country

The former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & CountryThe former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & Country

The former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & CountryThe former school in Coltishall now for sale. Pic: Fine & Country

The original outside school toilet block, now used as garden sheds. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe original outside school toilet block, now used as garden sheds. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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