Sunday, 22 April 2018

Peckerdale Grene Community Tower

Peckerdale Grene Community Tower  Places Post 1

Peckerdale Grene Community Tower is a high-rise designed by Russ Merriweather of Merriweather and Associates in the 1980s. Russ found the commission strange, but after some discussion he agreed to take it on.

The client, the entity hiring his firm, was an aggregate of two related families, led by patriarchs Peter Peckerdale and Peter Grene and their wives Pia and Gentian. Very early in the project, Russ started to wonder about his own sanity - not to say that of his clients, but he continued the job nevertheless. The client owned a large tract of land in Victoria, on the outskirts of Patterdale, the country town acting as an outer suburb of the city of Appledore. Much of this was open pasture, but there was also a large copse of English woodland trees. The client's stated purpose was to preserve as much of the land as possible; hence the high-rise form of their community to be. Russ never did find out how the families got permission to build a high-rise in that area, but up in went; seven storeys of concrete and glass. At this point Russ had no idea his son Tom would end up as one of the first permanent residents. 

Peckerdale Grene Tower, thirty-something years on, is well-established now. Its entire ground floor comprises a communal kitchen/dining area where the residents may cook and eat if they choose. Living quarters include everything from family apartments to tiny bachelor pads. There's a dance studio called Forever on the third floor and a music studio above that. On the top floor is a penthouse pool and spa suite reached by a semi-secret spiral staircase. Fire-stairs lead up the outside to the roof. One of the newer additions is a mechanic's shop, where Peck Grene puts cars into better health. 

The grounds are well-planted out with vegetables, an apothecary's garden, flower beds and semi-open animal habitats. The copse is managed "invisibly", so it looks natural without being overgrown.  Many of the people who live there are descendants of the Peters and their ladies, but there are also others, some human and some fay. The tower welcomes mixed families and non-traditional groups. There are few rules. Everyone pitches in to work in the gardens and to run the kitchens, but aside from that not much needs to be said, as the tower is warded, not to keep people out, but to make it an uncomfortable environment for anyone with bad intentions.

Some of the inhabitants live there part time. Some work in Patterdale or Appledore. One of the ladies, LeeLee Grene, nee Peckerdale, hosts Wednesday coffee and cake, which attracts a good many women and a few men. Anyone with a taste for music is welcome in the studio to compose, practise or jam with whoever happens to be there.        

You might expect Peckerdale Grene to attract a great deal of attention, but the locals are used to it and casual passers-by rarely notice it. Russ Merriweather comes to stay in it occasionally, when he visits his son's family. It can't be denied, though, that he's just as likely to take a room at the Over Here B&B or at the pub.


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. She runs  Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 2017 is now behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of February 18th 2018 I STILL haven't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books to come, and I'll certainly showcase those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, just for a change. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!
April 22nd now and I'm adding in places!

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