History of Works

The completion of this project would not have been possible without the generosity and support of Leekes of Crosshands, PGS of Johnston, Peter Dunn of St. Brides, Ken Bowen & Sons of Fishguard and MLS of Neyland.

This aerial photograph shows how Ripperston looked from the air in 1944. The slideshow following this image, shows images which were taken in the 1970’s, when the buildings were in use as pig farm and later as a puppy farm. This was before we moved into Ripperston ourselves, in 1998. These photographs, along with the aerial shot, were kindly given to us by Malcolm Cullen of Marloes.

Aerial Map 1944

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The following images are of the buildings as they were during the early part of our ownership. Through contact with the Welsh Hawking Centre, we bred Harris Hawks and ran residential training for prospective owners. Though in a poor state, the kitchen, bathroom and a few of the rooms were able to be used to accommodate visitors to our breeding programme. The Foot & Mouth outbreak in 2001 meant that access to land for the flying of these beautiful birds  became restricted and they were returned to the Welsh Hawking Centre. We decided to start a repair programme to save the buildings from further decay. They became a summer haven for local teenagers – friends of our daughter and members of Sea Cadets of which she was a keen member enjoyed the freedom of ‘camping’ away from home but with a roof over their heads. We also accommodated visiting divers to St Brides who we supplied with air for their bottles. They shared company with our Bantam chickens, wonderful surrogate mothers, who had become a part of our extended family during our time with the Harris Hawks. However, it became clear that we needed to do extensive repairs were we to save these buildings and so, as you will see from the last section of images, we embarked on a full repair project which took us a number of years, was demanding but highly rewarding.

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The following slideshow is a record of our progress. We are still adding the finishing touches; probably always will be.  We have been given a number of original items; the Arctic Convoy Duffle Coat and WWII Warden’s Helmet, the lamp shades and fire extinguisher in the Set House; we have purchased a number of items, two more stunning brass fire extinguishers, a Sector Clock, a working Radio & Gramophone, an Admin Officer’s Chair , matches case with RAF china embossed ashtray and a number of Fine Art Paintings of WWII aircraft, aircraft that were in the area under Ripperston’s protection. As funds allow we shall add to this collection hopefully creating an art  collection worthy of the historical significance of these buildings. We are always grateful for any donated items of interest, however small, which would add to the atmosphere and authenticity of the rooms; especially at the moment we are trying to source an RAF uniform jacket and cap to hang in the CO’s room; the room already has an original RAF bed and bedside cabinets.  So here are another two slideshows. Thank you for your interest.

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So there it is. We are still working towards having it further completed, with more pictures and works on the walls, before we are open for viewing. We love the CO’s room now it is finished and really hope that, when you visit, you will feel the atmosphere and history just as we do. It has been a long journey but one which we shall never regret.

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JaneEveDixon
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