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Man Says He's 'Saved Thousands' By Not Redecorating House Since The 1950s

Man Says He's 'Saved Thousands' By Not Redecorating House Since The 1950s

In 1948, Doug Bethel and his six siblings moved into a house in Liverpool that his parents bought for just £800. Now, 72 years later, Doug doesn't just still live in the semi-detached house, but his home is pretty much a timewarp, as he hasn't altered or updated the decor since the 1950s.

Doug, a retired gas engineer, is now 89, and believes that by never succumbing to or installing modern conveniences, he's saved himself thousands of pounds.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

His desire to keep things as they were when he was a teenager doesn't stem from being thrifty, though. Rather it's because he wants to keep as many memories of how the place used to be as possible.

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A former navy seaman, Doug never started a family of his own because he was away at sea so often, and then returned to live with his parents until his mum passed away in 1976 and his dad in 1988.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

The house has barely been altered at all - his childhood bedroom is still intact and the house's original kitchen and cooker are still installed intact. There's also no central heating, so he uses coal fires to heat the place.

"The bedrooms are still the same as what they were when we were kids," says Doug.

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"We've got all the original doors, ceilings and floors that came with the house when we bought it.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

"My parents changed the wallpaper but apart from that they barely touched it either. It was only 10 years ago that we had the electrics changed from the old plugs that we'd had since 1950 to the modern system with the three-prong sockets you see today.

"We've still got some of the old two prong sockets dotted about. A lot of the furniture is very old and mostly are my parents' wedding presents like the chairs and clothes drying rack.

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"I still use their wedding knife to cut loaves of bread. The best times of our lives were the '50s when I was growing up here. Beer was 10p a pint, I used to come out of the pub and there would be a wall of women sitting and waiting for us to give them a wave. They couldn't resist us in our navy uniforms.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

"Today, anyone that comes over is stunned and they fall in love with the place. They say, 'What a beautiful and fascinating house,' or tell me they have never seen a house like this."

Built in 1897, the house has even survived two explosions - one during WWII, when a shell hit a nearby house on the same street, and then again in 1987, when there was a gas explosion at the house next door.

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Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

After he left the navy, Doug got a job at the gas board as a storeman doing fitting and servicing work, and stayed in the house after both his parents died, He now lives there with his younger sister Brenda, who's 86. And while he does admit it can get freezing in the winter, he says he wouldn't change a thing.

"The kitchen is my favourite part of the house," he says. "It still has the original cooker which works just the same as it did when we first moved in.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters
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"It gets freezing cold in the winter but you just shove a blanket on and get on with it, it doesn't bother us. We must have saved thousands over the years never redecorating or spending money on furniture.

"I like things as they are. It's all falling down but it's still standing for now and we love living here. It's better than a timewarp, I get to relive the best times of my life living here. We have so many happy family memories of parties with my parents.

"It's my home and always has been."

Featured Image Credit: Caters

Topics: UK News, Community

Mischa Pearlmen

Mischa is a freelance journalist usually based in either New York or London. He has written for Kerrang!, Record Collector, NME, the New York Observer and FLOOD magazine, among others. Contact him at [email protected]