13. How To Transform A Post War Prefab

There was a method in my father’s mad idea to buy a post war prefab to live in. Using his construction skills, he planned to build a conventional brick building around the outside of the prefab. We would live in the shell, while the building went up around us, brick by brick.

I helped him dig the foundations

Looking back on the experience now, it was quite a lot of fun. I helped him dig the foundations and lay the reinforced concrete slabs and we started to lay breeze blocks as an inner core and construct a conventional cavity wall with Fletton bricks on the outside. My father bought bricks and building materials as he earned money from his self employed building work. This building experience carried me in good stead, when quite a few years later I founded Soapbox Expeditions, a charity taking volunteers from the UK, USA and Europe to do building projects in some of the poorest locations on earth. We build feeding centres, classrooms, medical centres and homes for desperately disadvantaged people.

You can read more about this story in my BLOG “Soapbox – The Real Story,” right here on my website.

Nelson Avenue was an unmade road at the bottom of the hill in the village of Minster, so it was a challenge getting building materials delivered to the house. We had to dig vehicles and lorries out of the mud on a number of occasions!

However, gradually, brick by brick, the building went up and the prefab became a much more pleasant place to live – with proper insulated walls and roof. We did all of the work ourselves, including erecting the rafters and crossbeams for the roof, and then tiling the whole thing. When we finished, you could never tell that there was a prefab hiding inside.

I’m always on the look-out for sermon illustrations and here is one right out of the box! We can dress ourselves up in the most fancy clothes, and put on our airs and graces, but it’s what’s going on inside that really matters!

OK! I know that is pretty obvious, but it’s worth getting out there!

“God Is Our Refuge And Strength”

My parents called their new, transformed home, “Gioras” – the first letters of the first words of Psalm 46: “God Is Our Refuge And Strength” – He was and still is!

About Steve Flashman

Steve Flashman is a singer/songwriter, published author and has appeared on TV many times over the years. He toured extensively as a professional musician and set-up a Short Term Service Charity which worked in some of the poorest areas of the world. He is currently living in Buckinghamshire UK with his wife Sarah and is Vicar of two rural parish churches.

View all posts by Steve Flashman →

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