Failure of Work Being Carried Out

on Garage of 13 Manchester Square (and, with it, 12 Manchester Square)

Written by Adrian Worsfold from daily reports
Dated 20 August 2007


The end and edge of the garden of number 14 is nearly opposite the garage of 13 Manchester Square due to a staggered layout down the tenfoot. Placing a bin there and fixing it to the fence took away my ability to park in the garage, which is right at the edge of the tenfoot - it is a one-way reversal from the north. This action was taken by number 14 after we refused to let them place their bins on our land and after having put carpet and other contents in our dustbin. This action was against our property deed based right to use the shared tenfoot. Legal advice given to Rosemary Worsfold and Adrian Worsfold both of 13 Manchester Square was that a physical solution is much more practical than going to law. Going to law would raise issues of the precise position of boundaries creating a situation more problematic - potentially affecting the tenfoot dimensions and even the position of the first gardens never mind the garages. Also, even if we won the case, extracting damages from the tenants of 14 Manchester Square could prove near impossible. Therefore a decision was taken to move the garage backwards so that the placing of dustbins could not block access to the garage.

On behalf of my mother Rosemary Worsfold I approached Martin Skipworth of 3 Manchester Square to do work on the garage of Number 13 and 12 and also to build a rear conservatory with toilet.

Garages for number 12 and number 13 Manchester Square down the tenfoot are adjoining. The garage work would cost £1800 and the conservatory £4200 according to Martin Skipworth. The garage job included moving the front of Helen Habergham's garage for Number 12 at the front end back two and a half feet, the garage of number 13 six foot, and at the rear number 12 not going back at all and ours going back eight foot. This and alterations and improvements to Helen's garage, including a rear door and window, were to be without cost to her and were part of the number 13 estimate. A £3000 deposit for both jobs combined (50%) was paid by cheque, this amount to pay for materials and on trust of a previous job well done by Martin and sons.

The job on the garage was begun, and then suspended, with the rear wall off and breezeblocks stored at the rear. A thin wooden panel was left between garages 12 and 13. Then there was a breakage and theft from number 12's garage of Helen’s son Rhyan Habergham's fishing gear worth £300 and this amount would be recovered from Martin Skipworth's insurance, Martin Skipworth said. The garages of 12 and 13 have been left unusable. With Rosemary Worsfold moving to Clowne, Derbyshire, and Adrian Worsfold becoming the legal tenant, the job then became the garage alone, as agreed with Martin Skipworth, for the amount that was the deposit for both jobs (the amount £3000 paid well in excess of the £1800 estimate for the garage alone). Further work was not done. The explanation from Martin Skipworth was that ongoing legal action prevented work being done, and poor weather too on occasions; however, the legal action ended, and nothing was done. Later Martin suffered a hernia, recovered, and rain became predominant, but then the weather improved if patchy, and still no work has been done.


Saturday July 15

Helen Habergham was agreeable to moving her adjoining garage (number 12) back - the front end but not the back end. I said I was considering the people who did the porch (Skipworths) and I would speak to Martin. I said they did a good job on the porch [and kitchen floor] and it will stop number 15 blocking our garage again.

[Holiday 21 to 28 July: my mother was in hospital in Whitehaven; the reasoning of a downstairs toilet with conservatory became all the more important.]

Monday July 31

Martin Skipworth at his house said, "What a good idea," about moving the garage back. He came to the tenfoot and later into our house. He said about moving the garage back 6 foot at the front and 8 foot at the back. He would move both garages together. I said Helen does not want the back of hers moving, but could be a little bit given what she does not use at the edge [easier where to put the breezeblocks]. Helen could gain access to her behind the garage land through it, and not potentially blocked by number 11. As for the conservatory, Martin suggested a completely better way of arranging it and its doors, and how to arrange a toilet, with the conservatory joining the porch. This was more imaginative and practical as well as better priced than by Mike Capp. Martin mentioned difficulties regarding their children and access, and coming legal action.

Sunday August 13

I went to see Martin because I had heard nothing. He was having to sit outside with Elizabeth's child. He said Helen only wants three feet off the front of her garage. It is ample room for the car, with our garage six feet back. With the breezeblock he might make it three feet six. I thought the restriction made it necessary to manoeuvre the car, but also would be a guide to reversing. Martin asked if I had a quote sent from Mike Capp. I said he was supposed to come Monday but came Friday, it looked like £6000 and spiralling upwards and the toilet he would place in the centre. I said to Martin he has local knowledge anyway. The garage estimate given by Martin was £1800 including an up and over door. The conservatory and toilet, including lobby between, was given as £4200. I said there could be other jobs too - he remembered the ceilings he was once shown. I said he could do the dining room floor. Martin said he would do the garage and conservatory with a mate called Richard and there are students available from Bishop Burton College - plus it gives them a job. I said my concern is number 14 blocking the garage now with dustbins, and that the job must mean I can turn the car in without ambiguity.

Monday August 13

Helen Habergham said the front of her garage must go back by a maximum of three feet. I said OK but asked for a foot more. She said the reason is the length of the workbench inside. She said three feet would give me my angle (of reversing). I said it was vital I would not (still) get blocked by 14's actions. At the back of her garage I noticed that there was in fact no dead space, contrary to my previous view. Helen agreed to my additional idea for a post at each end of the garages (to mark territory and restrict other's invasive parking - especially number 14). She said she is unconcerned about the 8 foot back of our garage (I asked). Helen would rather be present during construction (for reasons of garage contents) and this meant starting after the August Bank Holiday (meaning us having to wait while Number 14 continued their blocking tactics). Plus Rhyan Habergham would want a say in the movement of the garage too. [Discussion continued about plans of shared and separate complaints to Bell Watson about number 14, involving Patricia Carr of 6 Manchester Square as well]

Wednesday August 16

Martin Skipworth said he will look after the main contents of our garage and I can put the car into his garage at night while he works. He agreed to erecting a post at the corner of Helen's property. He said the internal wall between our garages needs breezeblock too. He will put a wired window into Helen's garage for light: if attacked it would crack, but would not break and can be replaced. I rejected a window because no one should see the car inside. Another improvement to ours will be the up and over door. I asked that the power lights above the conservatory could be moved to nearer the upstairs windows in order to replace bulbs easier. I parked in the cul-de-sac due to blocking tactics of number 14.

Thursday August 17

My mother and I went to one of her banks and a cheque was printed, with ID and questions answered on how many accounts and for how long. Martin Skipworth received the cheque.

Helen Habergham revealed how much actions of 14 are affecting her. I replied that Martin is keen to start and it might be an idea for him to work while she is away. I described that he would clear his garage for our car and then our garage.

Friday August 18

The car was left out (number 14 then chained a bin to block access into the garage). Martin Skipworth cleared his garage

Tuesday August 23

I assumed Martin would start work when Helen was back from her holiday.

Wednesday August 30

Helen Habergham said Rhyan will look at her garage contents tomorrow. Martin said he wants the front off with doors done first. Helen will then get access and the garage will look good. He said Helen is stressed. She told me she did not want to come back to New Holland given her own difficulties with near neighbours.

Thursday August 31

Martin Skipworth cleared our garage and transferred items to his garage. Martin's garage is so narrow I can only park it there straight with mirrors tucked in and reckoned I'd probably leave it out for the duration.

Monday September 4

Martin has knocked out the back of the garage. I removed a plant I want to keep, as a growing area square will be covered when he garage is moved back. The car is out because his garage is narrow to get into, and next door's bin is pretty much opposite our garage.

Thursday September 7

I told Pat Carr that Martin has done work knocking out the back of the garage and has stopped and that I understand he is busy with custody related problems. I mentioned the quote from Mike Capp and that Martin was cheaper and I would rather wait.

Friday September 8

Martin saw us and came to the house. I said I know he has been busy and distracted. He said that Helen Habergham only wants two foot six inches removing from the front. It will be enough for the car turning, he said. His method will be to do the partition wall first and at each stage seal her garage and its contents. As for his garage, he said he just got his Mondeo in but it is a squeeze. He said an overhead door for our garage will be just as wide as the doors are now. He had ordered the windows for the conservatory and when the garage is done he will get on with the conservatory straight away. When I return with Elena from Scotland (starting next day 9 September) I will see much different.

Thursday September 15

No change has happened to the garage (the back is still out). Pat Carr mentioned troubles experienced by Martin and family.

Saturday September 17

Helen came around to say her son Rhyan Habergham's fishing gear in the garage worth £300 has been stolen. The thief/ thieves entered through the exposed back of our garage, then broke the wooden panelling dividing our garage and hers, and stole the equipment. As a result, when back at 5:30 pm, Helen and Rhyan emptied the garage and put all other items into their house. She had been to see Martin's partner Elizabeth to get the partition secured. I said that Martin was supposed to do the securing first, that he had said we would notice the difference when Elena and I returned from Scotland and yet it is the same. I said we gave him £3000 up front to get the materials, and she asked where are the ordered windows (for the conservatory). I don't know. She said, "In his back pocket." She said Elizabeth said he was working in the fields with a lot of demand to remove bales. I said I thought the delay was due to his legal troubles; I supposed (as Helen and Rhyan were bringing items to the house) that he is maximising his income. He has enough bills to pay, I said. I would go around and catch up with him.

I did go around. I thought the selection of items regarding the theft meant this was not an opportunity theft but seen and planned. I spoke to Martin Skipworth at his house and I said, "It is knowledge, isn't it," about the theft. He could think of a few and then said it is one set of thieves and named the local people [name not repeated here]. He said Rhyan was targeted. He supposed it is his fault for leaving the garage exposed to theft, and he would claim from his insurance. He reckoned that the goods could be intercepted; they will be found at Brigg Market. A chap he knows writes down what comes in, so they will be intercepted. I said so the gear can be recovered then. He said he would see Helen tomorrow (Sunday September 18) and do the internal wall when he gets started on Monday September 19. We discussed other matters and then Martin described a run-in with the claimed thieves that resulted in them returning his taken shed by his given stated time. He said Helen can still go to the police whether there was an "open door" to take the items or not, but he will see her anyway and he will put a notice into the local Post Office. This would be as well as looking into Brigg Market and claiming on the insurance.

Monday September 19

No sign of Martin at the garage.

Saturday September 23

[Take mother to Cumbria up to Wednesday September 27]

Saturday September 30

I went to Martin Skipworth's at 7:30 pm but was told he was not in and should be coming around in the afternoon tomorrow.

Sunday October 1

Martin did not come to the house. I wanted him to come to this house and to ‘do’ not ‘say’.

Monday October 2

Martin was not in when I called at his house at 8 pm.

Saturday October 7

Martin said he has "not forgotten you" at his house. I said, "OK, I know it's been rough" and a lot of work. He said the baling is over now, and cannot do a lot in the wet, nor with the garage. I said if he cannot do it, keep us informed, neither mum nor I get up early (he means really early by early - 5 am for cows and pigs). He wants a supportive letter from people to help with his court case. [This was written and given.]

Sunday October 22

Martin said we have been having terrible weather (there were some good days). I told him I'd actually come to talk about recent events regarding number 14 with police involvement and false allegations (I was visiting a number of neighbours and communicating with their landlord with copies of a document to a number of key people including Martin).

Thursday October 26

Martin Skipworth could have worked today but did not.

Monday October 30

I went to see Martin Skipworth and Elizabeth Asher to remind him, and gain an opinion if he is honest. I judged from hearing him that he will still do the work, even if he was not possibly saying everything. A warning sign was that the court case, he said, had cost £3000 so far, and will need Legal Aid or it will cost £10000. It cannot cost that because he has not got such money. The other side had gained Legal Aid. I offered assistance towards their case in that I will have made a written record of the time Elizabeth came to our house early in the morning. They gave some advice about tackling 14. Martin said the lad he uses to help him with work is back with him now, though he has two, and this is why he has not been at the garage. But he is seeing a barrister in a week and not seen them before. They are in the thick of the process. I said I would offer supporting evidence if wanted. Martin offered to wall up the back of the garage again (without moving it) if my mother wanted the car in before Bonfire Night, which was a concern. Martin had further ideas for doing our garage. He thought of a scaffold pipe that could take electric current from our house under the tenfoot to give an electric point in the garage [mother later wondered if legal, plus the tenfoot is not ours where it would cross and so I might veto this, plus 14's landlord might say no if there is a bizarre agenda for him regarding number 14]. He said the decline in daylight hours was not a problem.

Pat Carr commented that so much is in limbo. I said I would not [now] have paid the £3000 as there is no incentive for Martin to do the work. I passed on to her that Martin and Elizabeth told me the cat (that had been missing from Mrs Carr for a time) was of course definitely from Elizabeth and had never belonged to Donna Newman at number 14 as claimed by her just before the cat went missing.

Sunday November 5

After events at 14 discuss with Andrew Cheyne of 21 Manchester Square this and many related events including the delay to garage work.

Monday November 6

Away and, looking at a conservatory where staying, I hoped that Martin Skipworth would work at a higher standard if he ever actually did the work.

Wednesday 29 November

Mother told me she saw Martin Skipworth who said he would start in two weeks. I said I'll believe that if he does it.

Thursday November 30

Mother goes to solicitor (and unknown then the process begins of her moving to Clowne, Derbyshire; mother had visited Clowne on November 23-26).

Friday December 1

A surprise: sister and niece appear...

Saturday December 16

I proposed to my mother with Judy present renting the house instead of fighting the eviction of Elena and me. The proposal included the advantage that I would still be able to pursue work on the garage by Martin Skipworth he had costed at £1800 and try to get him to do other work for the £4200. A document would be produced ready for their next visit to the solicitor on Monday December 18.

Thursday December 21

Mother leaves. Elena and I are about to begin a standard short tenancy arranged by mother's solicitor.

Friday January 12

See mother in Clowne after a job interview further south.

Sunday January 14

Martin Skipworth was not in when I called in. Only Elizabeth was there. She was surprised that my mother had gone. I said that, as a result, the extension plan now is over, but with the money paid the garage needs to be done. She mentioned the wind stopping work. Martin would call in the evening, she said, but he did not. I thought of asking Martin to lower rear power lights, one of which I could not maintain and the ladder is a little too short.

Friday January 19

The wind and rain has caused the fence in the second garden to lean over; the whole garden is now in a condition of disuse (the back of the garage still being off).

Saturday January 20

Buy replacement pack of outside powerlights but really would like the fixtures to be lowered.

Wednesday January 24

"Hello Martin," I said in Barton-on-Humber. He crossed the road to come to me. He said he does not like not doing the job. I said of the £3000 and what is left of the work that it is "my mother's fault". He said it might be better for Elena and me. He said he will do the fence as well. I said it is hanging on by one post. I mentioned the power lights at the back, that I would like them lowering. I also mentioned the ceilings he once looked at. [In other words, mother paid the £3000 deposit and she left and ended the point of having the conservatory]. So now Martin Skipworth has agreed that the £3000 is for the garage and has added in the fence. He did not actually say yes to the rear power lights lowering or the ceilings.

Tuesday March 13

Visiting Clowne. I told my sister in Clowne, Derbyshire, with my mother present, that I am handling the garage matter. The matter of a solicitor is raised, given the £3000 paid from my mother with nothing done. I told my sister not to get involved.

Tuesday April 3

First hear that 14 Manchester Square must move out and Andrew Cheyne wishes to sell 14 and 15. I contacted my mother about this.

Sunday April 8

By telephone I told my sister that I will approach Martin Skipworth one more time about the garage. I said he has run out of excuses. If nothing then happens she can then go to the solicitor (on behalf of my mother).

Monday April 9

I go round and Martin tells me yes he will do the garage and to leave the extension wire out live so that he can plug into it in the morning. He has been clearing up at the farm and can take rubble from the garage there. I said the people of the garden next door to the garage had mended their fence but ours behind the garage is still down. He said there is no point mending the fence without sorting out the garage. There are no more family legal matters in the way for him, but there is sorting some out on the April 19 to finish everything. I said I was looking forward to putting the car away into the garage. I hoped he could lower the back lights to allow easier maintenance.

Tuesday April 10

The extension lead was left outside late Monday/ Tuesday, live, it being dry (though left inside a transparent plastic bag). No work was done. Going out one friend said it must all go down on paper and I said I had been thinking of documenting every approach made to Martin Skipworth. I said I'll give a week to a fortnight for him to begin this work, with the electric lead made available.

Wednesday April 11

The extension lead was left out overnight from Tuesday, and no work was begun in the morning or today.

Thursday April 12

The extension lead was left out overnight from Wednesday, and no work was begun in the morning or today. Some moisture was noted on the wire but the socket end is into the transparent plastic bag.

Friday April 13

The extension lead was left out overnight from Thursday, and no work was begun in the morning or today. I passed Martin in my car and said nothing as he moved his large car and trailer over.

Saturday April 14

The extension lead was left out overnight from Friday, and no work was begun in the morning or today.

Sunday April 15

The extension lead was left out overnight from Saturday, and no work was begun in the morning or today. I spoke to Rhyan Habergham to pass on a message to his mother that I am fed up with Martin. I decide to write this document. I cannot understand why he will not do the work, and that the £3000 he has taken involves now mainly labour.

Monday April 16

The extension lead was left out overnight from Sunday, and no work was begun in the morning or today.

Tuesday April 17

I wrote to Martin and posted the letter through his door, pointing out that I have left an extension wire through the window for every morning since he "instructed" me to do this, and that he should let me know if I should stop doing this. I decide that next time I will pass on this document showing all contact with him about this work, the document to go to Clowne as well and potentially to the solicitor. The wire was again put through the window before going to sleep.

Wednesday April 18

No work was begun in the morning or today. There was no reply to my letter.

Thursday April 19

The extension lead was left out overnight from Wednesday, and no work was begun in the morning or today, although this was the day Martin Skipworth and Elizabeth Asher would have finalised and completed legal matters. Helen Habergham spoke with me. She thinks a number of people are chasing Martin Skipworth, having given him money up front for jobs. Rhyan has not yet received any money for the theft, and she is sure who took the fishing gear and who had seen it. Martin is not going to touch her garage until he comes up with the (insurance based) money he had promised - she said £600. I said that I had left him a note and had no reply, and that I have been leaving a live extension wire outside every night since seeing him. Helen said the £3000 paid to him is tracable through the banking system. I said to Helen I do not have the skills to repair that fence. Helen pointed out that it was principally Martin's sons who carried out the porch job (Martin joined in). She advised me to go to Citizens Advice in the first instance, which would construct and send a legal letter. I told of my document idea. Helen said starting a job and then leaving it is a trick used by builders use to keep a customer while they go off and start other jobs. Helen said tenants at numbers 14 and 15 are being evicted. I wondered if they might go to another landlord, but we agreed vacant possession is better.

Reflecting I thought it is still best if he will do the work. I have treated him with patience and received normal conversation back from him and Elizabeth, and it is a puzzle why he has never done the work (other than taking the back out of the garage). I decide to wait another week, given the letter he received.

Friday April 20

The extension lead was left out overnight from Thursday, and no work was begun in the morning or today. There was no reply to my letter. I realised that my task then is to begin this document.

Saturday April 21

The extension lead was left out overnight from Friday, and no work was begun in the morning or today. Pat Carr advised me to act about the work not done on the garage. I said I believed all his explanations and that nothing is in his way to do the work. She said he and sons are all unreliable (different from Helen). I have put out the extension wire for every morning and continue so that he cannot say he came along one day and it was not there so he could not begin. I said of my sister mentioning going to the solicitor. I would do this document and said who would get this and a letter (Martin, Helen, mother and family). I felt that I still needed to encourage him to do the work, even if he now leaves Helen's garage alone.

Sunday April 22

The extension lead was left out overnight from Saturday, and no work was begun in the morning or today.

I wrote to my mother and under a subtitle of 'Martin Skipworth' wrote this:

On Monday April 9 I spoke to Martin in his house about the garage and the fence. He said he will now do the garage, as his legal matters are concluded. There was one last date on 19 April to clear matters up. He told me to leave an extension wire out of the window, live for his work. I have done this every day since, and he has done nothing.

On 17 April I put a note through Martin's door pointing out that since Easter Monday I have put an extension wire to outside the house according to his "instruction" and asking him if I should stop doing this. He has not replied.

Therefore I have come to the conclusion that Martin is not going to do the work, and he has walked off with your £3000 for nothing.

On 19 April I spoke with Helen who said that she has not received the £600 Martin promised regarding the insurance claim for the theft of Rhyan's fishing gear as a result of exposing the inside of both garages. She said that until he gives her this money, he cannot touch her garage (it would still be worthwhile doing the work on your garage, because the car can be reversed in from the other side, though it makes matters awkward). I said that he was paid this deposit for the original work because he had done the porch and kitchen, and a good job was done, and the payment was based on trust. Helen said other people are chasing Martin for money; she also believes that he started the job and left it as a typical ploy of builders who start jobs and then go off and start other jobs. She also thinks the difference before was that Martin's sons did the porch and kitchen, although Mrs Carr has said since that they are all the same in their unreliability.

Whatever, the situation has come to a point of change. I said to Mrs Carr on 21 April that I accepted Martin's explanations regarding his difficulties, that I have been very patient,  and that I have put the extension wire outside every night so that he cannot see it not there one day and make an excuse for not doing the work one morning when he might be "available". I said to Mrs Carr that Ruth had referred to going to the solicitors, and that I had wanted to wait because it is better that the job is done and done well than get into a dispute.

Now that Martin has said he is available, and told me to put out an extension wire, but has done nothing at all, nor even replied to my note, I think it is time to change approach.

If you and Ruth wish to approach the solicitor then do so. If you want me to go on your behalf, then I will. I have a suggestion in the meantime, however.

I think it would be a good idea to put together a document listing all the times I met Martin about the work, and what he said (briefly) on every occasion. You know that I can do this. This document would start with his suggestions, include the payment, and me going to his house or talking even in Barton. This document could then be presented to Martin with a copy to yourself and to Helen (in fact I mentioned to her that this was my idea). It would also give the solicitor something to have in the way of submitted evidence.

I will start this, and then I will deliver the copies. You can then (or Ruth, or me, or Judy) take it to a solicitor if you choose to do so. It may be that presenting him with such a document, with a covering letter about its potential use, and who is receiving copies, will spur him into actually doing the work.

It is possible that he actually believes himself when he says that he will do the job, and that he is not the charlatan that he appears to be. He just finds it impossible to get on with it. Another point is that although, no doubt, he has spent your money on legal fees and the like, much of the expense of the work is his labour and time. He did promise a new garage door, and to make the garage effectively new top to bottom, which would be materially more expensive, but it is still the case that much of the effort (which he costed at £1600) is labour time and experience. He has since promised to restore the fence: he said last time that there was no point (me) repairing the fence before the garage is done, and yet he is still not doing the garage.

So I shall get on with this document, and it will take some time. In between - wonders may never cease - he might actually do some work. Tell me if this document should not be done. I am hoping that it will persuade him to work even before a solicitor is approached, but he will understand on receiving it that it will form the basis of an approach to a solicitor and will (in effect) not be a matter under my control any more.

Monday April 23

The extension lead was left out overnight from Sunday, and no work was begun in the morning or today.

Tuesday April 24

The extension lead was left out overnight from Monday, and no work was begun in the morning or today.

Wednesday April 25

The extension lead was left out overnight from Tuesday, and no work was begun in the morning or today. I noticed a trailer opposite at the back, but might not be Martin's. So the extension wire was put out yet again.

Thursday April 26

No work was begun in the morning or today.

Friday April 27

The extension lead was left out overnight from Thursday, and no work was begun in the morning or today.

Saturday April 28

The extension lead was left out overnight from Friday, and no work was begun in the morning or today. The trailer opposite at the back has had some junk in it from number 14 (that was out at the front) and Andrew Cheyne (number 14's landlord) was moving it.

Sunday April 29

The extension lead was left out overnight from Saturday, and no work was begun in the morning or today. I looked at the second garden, and it is a mess. I cannot do anything with it. Rather than visit Martin Skipworth for more excuses, I realised must prepare this document (there had been no response to my letter from my mother or anyone else at Clowne). The live extension wire is put out overnight for the last time.

Monday April 30 to Friday May 4


Wednesday May 9

Meet George Fisher and in conversation mention in passing Martin Skipworth not doing the work he said he would do, as he told me about slow legal moves to recover access to his portion of the field and related matters.

Saturday May 12

Aggressive telephone call from my mother followed me ringing my sister Ruth Ellis.  My sister first told me that my mother had been "going on" about the garage. Judy Ellis-Hatton, my niece, had not got the time to write to the solicitor on behalf of my mother. She was described as my mother's "financial advisor". I suggested coming down to Clowne, that it is two times the journeying for mother to come here plus there is nowhere for her to stay here. Ruth said I am nearest the solicitor, who is the first executor of my mother's will. I said all this is a sore point, given the manner of my mother's departure, but my sister said she knew nothing about that (matters with the solicitor acting to my disadvantage). Ruth described matters of dealing with my mother and issues of a holiday in June, and the rent agreement for me continuing until then. I said that key items once left in Martin's garage while he did the work, like bicycles and ladders, had been removed and stored in the house (rather like Helen Habergham has had to do).

My mother rang back and was aggressive. She complained about many matters including storing items in the house and so abusing her house. Along with complaining about Elena and me going to Scotland, and me going to the church when I liked, and her forgetting the car had come to me via the solicitor's suggestion, she attacked (perhaps with some justification) a wire being put outside the house each night to allow work to be done. She threatened to get a for sale notice put on the outside wall. I said I pay all services bills. As she went on I asked if she was, from her comments, thinking of coming back then - "Might do". She said I should not have taken this money to Martin Skipworth and he can pay it back. I said she gave the money for me to give it to him [both of us went to Barton for the bank produced cheque and I then took it to his house].

I realised I had been delaying starting this garage document listing encounters with Martin Skipwroth, and ought to get on with it. I was wondering if next door clearing out of the way would be an opportunity for Martin to actually do the work. The matter of my mother, relatives and the solicitor is complicated, leaving me to do a task for my mother after a difficult time and wondering if I should leave it all to them, though I had said I would continue with this if I stayed.

Sunday May 13

The garage document was begun and going back reminded me of details, plus a fresh view back on to events, and the matter of the work not done being wrapped up with all the other events going on at the time up to and indeed from December 2006.

Monday May 14

I spoke to Pat Carr mentioning the slow start to my document on the garage. She said it is all wrong (not having this work done).

Tuesday May 15

I visited my mother after an interview near Rotherham. Rather a pleasant and business-like visit speaking to my mother directly which, in effect, repeated what was in the letter except I added that it might be worth waiting a little to see if next door (number 14) leaving changes anything.

Friday May 18

I needed to continue with the document about Martin Skipworth after a pause since Tuesday.

Saturday May 19

I wrote to Andrew Cheyne as a matter of record about number 14 doing again what they stopped doing months back, stating that my lack of action is based on them leaving. Mention was made of a new problem of her early morning radio (affecting Elena).

Monday May 21

A handwritten note sent to my mother with the advance rent adds that this document is more delayed than expected and its content may get him to do the work.

Tuesday May 22

I resumed writing the document [this day; other matters attended after]. Elena and I, when going to the car, ignored Donna Newman outside the back of number 14 when she started talking at us. It looked like she wanted to start making trouble again.

Wednesday May 23

Only a spam email about the missing girl Madeleine McCann received from Andrew Cheyne. One about next door might have been more useful.

Tuesday May 29

No one was next door, no one came back nor was there any removal van (as was expected some time these dates). [They did return]

Thursday June 14

Elena left for Russia (until August 8) and alone I thought I must get on with continuing the garage document along with other matters.

Friday June 15

Pat Carr told me that the tenants at number 14 are definitely leaving and going to Scunthorpe. She expected they would go end of this month. I said of the delay to the document and wanting number 14 out of the way. For this reason I had also delayed writing to my mother. She said that Martin Skipworth had had a hernia operation and that this was weeks back but had since recovered and gone back to work. I wrote a draft letter to go with the document and it was emailed to Helen Habergham for any comments (not knowing if this email address still worked).

Saturday June 16

I informed Elena by telephone of news from Pat Carr.

Thursday June 21

Helen Habergham has not responded to my draft letter sent to her by email that would go with this document to get Martin to do the work he has promised.

Saturday June 23

I said “hello” to Elizabeth Asher passing the back garden and she came back. She said Martin is recovering from a hernia operation and needs two weeks before he can do the garage. She had said to him that they must see me but that she has just not had the time to come to me, and she also mentioned pressing family matters that had got in the way of seeing me. I said my mother and sister in Clowne have been pressing me, and the time before my sister had mentioned going to the solicitor and I said no, but that I have been drawing up this document of meetings with Martin and I have sent a cover letter for it to Helen for comment. I said to Elizabeth that I'd rather he got his hernia recovery right than lifted anything too early.

I thought this was reassuring and I rang Clowne. I said to my mother that as a result of what Elizabeth said I would hold back the document.

Monday June 25

I rang Elena in Russia and among other things told of garage and related matters, including ringing Clowne.

Monday July 16

I rang my mother and said I would speak about the garage when I see her.

Wednesday July 18

I said to my mother that the continuous rain will have prevented work on the garage. This came after Elizabeth spoke to me. I said the leylandii trees need to be cut and the second garden behind the garage is wild. Mother expressed a wish that the clock could be turned back, and I made comments that were agreeable to this statement.

Tuesday July 31

I went to speak to Martin Skipworth. He said his hernia is over now. He said he will do the garage, after Elizabeth returns from holiday the following Tuesday August 7. About the stolen fishing gear he said, referring to Rhyan Habergham, "he can get fishing gear" which I took as being non-committal by Martin. He did not say Rhyan would get compensation (as had once been stated via insurance). He said he had asked around and even contacted the police but no one knew anything about it. I said if necessary our garage will have to be done and not Helen Habergham's if she blocks Martin from touching her garage. We agreed that a middle wall is required whatever - he said he would put a roof across both. I said that still she may not want her garage touching. I said I would speak to Helen. I mentioned the possibility of my mother returning, given some of her comments (which might encourage him to actually do the job - thus I said if she did return I will have another toilet put into the house, but I did not say the previous job would be restored for which the £3000 was a deposit). I said a year is now coming up when he was paid, and I had been preparing a document of all our meetings so far when he said he would do the work. I said this document will go to Helen too. I said I sent her a now out of date cover letter by email but she had not replied. Martin said last week he had spoken to a co-worker about putting electricity into the garage when he works on it.

I note that this time he did not ask me to put a live cable out of the window. Somehow I still think he is still going to do the job. Thanks were said all around, like I have the patience of the current Archbishop of Canterbury.

I rang my mother afterwards, who said Martin now cannot go back on what he had just said. I let the comment go, though my hum and pause might have suggested it could be more waiting despite what he has said.

Saturday August 4th

Mother came to Cleethorpes and visited the house. She went to see Pat Carr and Helen Habergham and apparently the garage was mentioned in passing.

Sunday August 5th

Several times I walked between Helen Habergham and Martin Skipworth over the matter of the stolen fishing gear ahead of next Tuesday after which Martin said he would begin the work.

Initially I went to see Helen. She said it had been twelve months now and she wanted the £300. Seeing Martin clearing his soakaway, I went to see him. He said the fishing gear was not worth £300. He said it can be replaced. He would need a list. I went back to Helen.

She said she was not going to accept gear he would buy from Brigg market and second hand stuff. Some of he fishing gear was new. He cannot touch her garage until he pays the £300. She said she would see him in court - the theft was reported to the police and it has a crime number. He had left the garage exposed so that the gear could be stolen. She said it was up to Martin and me together to organise the £300. If the £300 is paid then he can do the work on her garage.

I went back to Martin. He said he can still do the work even if Helen says no. There has to be a partition wall; it can be the side wall. I said there cannot be a roof all the way across, but it can go to what would become the side wall. I said Helen would lose out on all the benefits, however, of having her garage done, including securing access. He spoke of access being legally from a strip of land behind.

I went back to Helen, including saying "if we were not good neighbours" then she could say her garage would not be touched and the roof would then go over our half, and the garages be separated. She said again he cannot touch her garage without the money paid - “End of”. Plus she said that she does not need access to her garage; she has walked across number 11 for 25 years. Martin had never even spoken with her. Looking for a solution, I asked if I can have a list of the gear stolen, even though I understand she wants control over what is purchased. She said I could have the list, as given to the police, and she would get it out later.

I returned to Martin, who crossed the road back to me as he had started speaking to others. I said when Helen gives me this list I will give it to him (the idea being that he can see the value of items stolen).

I rang Clowne straight away and spoke to my mother (and to Judy so that this explanation could be repeated and made clear). I said all the way along we have never said to Martin to stop the work; and when the job changed he agreed many times to do the work (just the garage work). We cannot allow Helen to block this, because we cannot say "stop". If we said stop then he could then take the deposit. Therefore we have to proceed. Theoretically we could come up with the money but we have already paid well enough. I mentioned the original quotes. I described the conversations and Judy herself gave some opinions.

As for the opinion that we should not have given this deposit, but arranged to buy materials ourselves, I said that this was based on trust. He had done a good job with his sons on the porch [and kitchen floor]. We had another quote, far higher, and Martin also had the better idea regarding the conservatory and good ideas on the garage (including Helen's). Even hiring a professional still depends on trust. I said that bizarrely if Helen blocks him from touching her garage he might actually go ahead.

I rang Pat Carr. Helen had already rung her and was very upset, and I said I definitely do not want her (Pat) to intercede for me. She said items had been stored in her house for so long, and the interference in the garage concerned more than just fishing gear. I said we have been good friends with Helen ever since moving in back in 1994, and this is important. However, if Martin says he can do the work we must say yes or lose the £3000. I said we could come up with the money for Helen but we have already paid more than the original quote for the garage. I said when Martin moves our garage back but leaves Helen's alone because he cannot touch it, it would leave a huge gap in the side of her garage. I said Helen's garage would be a wreck. I said it is possible to have Martin work on both garages and she could also sue him - after all we have paid for both garages to be done, and she had kindly said she would let hers go back two and a half feet. Pat Carr said Martin had never been to discuss this missing gear with Helen. She asked me to leave it a few days because Helen is upset. She would talk to Helen. I said thanks for listening. There was other conversation in and amongst this.

Tuesday August 7

The boundary fence between the field and the back of Manchester Square was gone. I spoke to Andrew Cheyne. We discussed this and I referred to difficulties with the garage. I said I would get back to him about any response from George Fisher, owner of half of the field. I left a message with George Fisher. I rang Mrs Carr, who had made her own calls about the field and the compound. I mentioned that this garage document was up to June 18.

Wednesday August 8

By telephone George Fisher said rapidly that everything was in hand regarding the field. My sister Ruth rang from Clowne about my mother, including whether the problems with the garage might be upsetting my mother. I listened to what was happening and gave a few suggestions. I paused from doing anything on the garage document as number 14 people returned from being away, which depressed me; I noticed Helen gardening in her second garden behind her garage.

Friday August 10

George Fisher and others were measuring out on his unfenced portion of the field. Pat Carr saw me out at the back - Helen immediately went indoors. She has not given me a list of fishing gear stolen. Pat said we must join together opposing any building on the field, and I agreed. It was in The Ferry (a local publication for New Holland). I rang Andrew Cheyne to say about George Fisher's quick reply and that he and others were measuring the field. After hearing of his difficulties and legal matters I referred to the garage and he said he cannot help me about that (not that I was asking). Later by chance Elena and I met Andrew Cheyne and another at the Humber Bridge, but we did not discuss any local matters.

Sunday August 19

Having waited a further week for work to begin on the garage and for lists (or anything) I completed this garage document.

I know there is one entry missing - that before December 22 2006 there was a chance meeting in Barton-on-Humber with me on the northern side of High Street near the council office and Martin and Elizabeth walking towards King Street on the other side. I called across and asked if they had not forgotten us, and they called back “no”. I cannot date this, and I assume I did not make a note of it.

I decided to write to my mother to coincide with rent payment, and to copy this letter for Martin Skipworth and Helen Habergham, to accompany this document. This way my mother, Martin and Helen all read the same material.

Adrian Worsfold
20 August 2007



In April 2008 North Lincolnshire Council Planning Service gave planning permission for the garage movement back from the tenfoot and its extension backwards. Now it just depends on the builder doing the work for which he has been paid.

The only plan the Council would accept is the area map reproduction (preferably using an expensive Ordnance Survey map - they got the one that is with the house deeds).

Regarding trees, neighbours on the adjacent plot were given permission by me to do effectively what they like with them, given that they are these appalling leylandii.

The garden behind the garage needed repair and upgrade. Originally plans were to include the neighbour's garage in a unified upgrade (paid by my mother) but after work began a theft took place and after misunderstandings the plans were scrapped in favour of leaving her garage alone and separating out the improvements.

Adrian Worsfold