Ticket to happiness
Serving as a business and living quarters, the Station Master’s Cottage at Kempton is a hive of activity as well as a cosy, welcoming home, writes Roger Hanson
THE Station Master’s Cottage at Kempton is still a hub for the Southern Midlands town. Built in 1888, the two- storey weatherboard house was originally built to house the station master of the town’s railway station.
The steam and bustle of the railway has long since gone, but the house still stands to serve the community in its modern guise as the rural clinic of Dr Greg Booth and wife Denise.
The couple, along with their young son, moved to the house in the late 1980s and set about restoring the house, raising a family and serving the community.
Later, two daughters arrived and the Booths started creating extra space on the second floor for the growing family.
The house has a lovely, cosy feel about it that comes with the warmth of the family now and of families past.
‘‘ In the mid- 90s we did a major makeover of the kitchen, created a dining room and dug a cellar,’’ Mrs Booth said.
The cellar is home to an eclectic collection of beers from throughout the world and wine. And the cool confines lend itself perfectly to food storage, most of which is local inseason produce.
The revamped kitchen is the central focus of the house.
The kitchen is divided into two workstations – off to one side is an L- shaped area looking out into the garden, which is the food preparation area that houses the oven and fridge as well as a neat space in a nook that’s been created for the pantry.
A high- set table, which allows people to sit on stalls and chat and enjoy a cuppa, has been created for the barista section and divides the kitchen.
The clever design of the kitchen allows for two different functions to be carried out, without people getting in each other’s way.
The smart layout of the living and dining area, which retains the charm of the 19th century, leads to the garden through the original double doors, offering a wonderful space for entertaining – something that would have been a regular event when the station master was in residence.
The gorgeous garden with its paths, trees offering generous shade, native plants and flowering garden beds, create a respite from a busy life. It is the perfect setting to sit down with a cuppa and read a book.
A new, but not- so- modern recent addition to the outdoor entertaining area is the wood- fired pizza oven built by a travelling French stonemason, who also did extensive work on Dysart House up the road.
Employing traditional skills the Frenchman, Jean- Daniel, crafted a fine oven that will stand the test of time yet allow for tasty treats to be turned out from its smoky, hot interior.
Standing in the neat courtyard surrounded by a towering gum, the pizza oven and the spires of the master’s cottage, you are is easily transported back to another time and place.
HISTORIC CHARM: The Station Master’s Cottage at Kempton, with ( above right from top) owner Denise Booth with Belle; the living room; and the wood- fired pizza oven in the garden. Pictures: