Tillellan – c.1933

TillellanThe actual age of Tillellan has been a relative mystery to us.  Gran has tried to piece together stories and images from the past to the best of her ability. This has had Tillellan’s age jump in and around somewhere between 1916 and the 1920’s.

A friend of ours who had recently dated her house using microfiche council rates records at the local history museum asked if we would like her to use the same method to date Tillellan. Mrs Petit Paradis was thrilled and our friend appeared to relish the time scanning through historical data to pin-point any possible, reliable date. By the time the kids were picked up from school our friend was able to tell us the year the first council rates were paid for a residence on the property.

It is likely that Tillellan and four other houses in the immediate vicinity were built around the 1930’s. Certainly Tillellan is most likely to have been constructed around 1931/32 with the first rates receivable for 1933. So far this is the most reliable information we have come across.

I thought it might be a worthwhile thing to briefly make a bit of a snapshot of what was happening in the world in 1933.

To set the scene, 1933 was the birth year of Quincy Jones, Michael Caine, Barbara Feldon, Wayne Rogers, James Brown, Barbara Taylor-Bradford, Joan Rivers, Gene Wilder, John Barry, Yoko Ono and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

As Tilly started her life, another great landmark was just beginning. Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began in January of that year.

Adolf Hitler presented his “Proclamation to the German People” in Berlin in February. The original film version of King Kong was premiered at Radio City Music Hall and Walt Disney released the  Silly Symphony and The Three Little Pigs cartoons. The first Drive-In movie Theatre opened in the United States.


An earthquake and powerful tsunami engulfed Honshu in Japan wreaking a death toll of approximately 3,000. Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn into office as the 32nd President of the USA.

The board game Monopoly was invented while ironically the Great Depression continued to linger.  The Great Depression was a severe economic depression that took place during the 1930’s on a global scale. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations but in general, most countries experienced it starting in 1929. This lasted until the late 1930’s and was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. Nowadays the Great Depression is commonly cited as an example of how far the world’s economy can decline.

Adolf Hitler became the dictator of Germany and in April of 1933 the USA officially left the Gold Standard. Nessie made her debut in a first alleged sighting of her on Loch Ness in Scotland. Karl Jansky is reported to have detected radio waves emanating from the centre of the Milky Way galaxy while Mohandas Gandhi began a 3 week hunger strike for the mistreatment of the lower castes in India. In contrast, the massive, public book burnings began in Nazi Germany and their introduction of a law to legalise eugenic sterilisation was created.

The London Passenger Transport Board was founded. The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played in Chicago. The Four-Power Pact was signed by Britain, France, Italy and Germany and the first solo plane flight around the world was completed by Wiley Post.

Winston Churchill warned of the dangers of German rearmament in his first public speech and Leó Szilárd, whilst waiting for a red light on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury, conceived the idea of nuclear chain reaction. As you would.

In October of 1933, the United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz was acquired by the United States Department of Justice, which planned to incorporate the island into its Federal Bureau of Prisons as a federal penitentiary. The British Interplanetary Society was founded as Albert Einstein arrived in the United States where he settled permanently as a refugee from Nazi Germany and accepted a position at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey.

I found this interesting also, that in 1933 in South Dakota, a very powerful dust storm known as “the Great Black Blizzard” stripped topsoil from desiccated farmlands. Sadly, this was only one of a series of disastrous dust storms that year. These storms were immense, catastrophic events. Where was permaculture?

The 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed on December the 5th, repealing Prohibition and ten days later the US 21st Amendment officially came into effect and alcohol became legal in the Unite States. However, the United States Federal Government also outlawed cannabis in 1933.

FM radio was patented. US President Roosevelt rejected socialism and government ownership of industry. The England cricket team won The Ashes using the controversial bodyline tactic.

So within the context of what was happening in the world I can see now – why Tillellan was put together like she was, why there is a unique look to her, and given a bit more of a backing to our decision to renovate rather than demolish.

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