Pajo’s Beach Hut

(Dad and Granddad)

Pajo’s Beach Hut is the name of my Parents’ little summer getaway in Rosslare, Co. Wexford. The whole family love the place, it’s a real little idyll. It’s also had a long and eventful history, which I’m going to tell you a little bit about…

It dates since at least before planning law came into effect in the 50’s, apparently built as a little residence, fronting onto a slipway used for launching the Rosslare lifeboat. It was built on a wide seashore site together with eight or nine others, the plot owned equally between each hut. Since then, Rosslare has changed a lot. Once the new Rosslare Harbour was constructed and the tidal patterns were altered, much of the once substantial plot was eroded away, resulting in some of the huts collapsing into the sea! Now, much of the land once owned by the huts is submerged beneath the surf, appropriated by the masses.

The lifeboat slipway ceased to exist when access was moved to be near the lifeguard tower, built further down the beach, and while the route has long since grown over with dune grass and heather, the point of access remained ingrained in the public habit and for a long time access to the sea was achieved by a perilous ramble through the thicket!

Following these changes many of the huts fell into disuse for a long time. My Grandfather had always dreamt of owning one, and often approached the owners of ours asking them to sell. He reasoned that the owners never used it anyway, but they wouldn’t sell, always thinking that they might. Sadly they never did use it, and eventually one night the hut was torched by vandals.

(Dad and Granddad)

My Grandfather saw the wreck a few days later and in desparation he offered to buy the ruins from the owners. Knowing that the planning laws would prevent a rebuild and that the building as it was was worthless they accepted. But, such was my Grandfather’s familiarity with planning law that he knew, as long as the last, charred post still held the roof aloft such as it did, he would be permitted to rebuild! That post meant that the work would not constitute a new build, but a repair of the existing structure. So he built around the wreckage to complete the hut, then replaced the burnt sections with new timber. The hut as built was the site of many bonfires, barbeques and happy holidays, but it was also, admittedly, very basic.

A few years ago my parents inherited the hut from my Grandfather, and once they gathered together a bit of money they began to renovate it. My Mother, my Grandfather’s Daughter, had been raised on this same beach and cherished the opportunity to live again in her childhood town. they put down new floors and installed a new kitchen, repainted and improved it’s windows and doors. My Father led a team of men to carve a safe path through the dunes for the public to access the beach, and my Mother planted an eden of tropical trees and bushes, and sowed a small lawn. where they could sit out in the sun. They named the Hut ‘Pajo’s’ after both myGrandfather and my Father, in recognition of their tenacity in bringing it back from the dead, and the pictures show how Pajo’s Beach Hut exists today.

Our family have enjoyed many years’ holidays here, but now that my Sister and I have grown, the Hut must enter a new phase in it’s evolution. As young children we could share a bedroom, but now that we are adult and have met partners, the lack of a third bedroom prevents family holidays in the future.

I first began to develop designs while on my Part I Year Out in Australia. Back then the plan was to simply reconfigure the existing plan, adding a timber deck and overhanging roof for sheltered outdoor space. My Parents use the place from March/April through to September, and the Irish weather is unpredictable!

These  drawings represent options on the theme of minor alterations; the goal here was to rebuild the walls in concrete block to prevent against future fire damage. But now, my Parents have asked me to develop a proposal for the complete redesign of the Hut. The process is going to be drawn out and difficult, as the Wexford planning department have made it clear they would have preferred it remain a pile of ashes. But I’m up for the fight, and to begin I thought I’d share these old drawings on here to illustrate the back story. However, the real story will continue in following posts, as Pajo’s Beach Hut completes its ascension from the ashes.


More to follow.

K

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Comments
2 Responses to “Pajo’s Beach Hut”
  1. Diane says:

    Looking forward to seeing how this develops 🙂

  2. Bernadette Lovett says:

    I know this hut very well because I also spent and still spend many happy times in Rosslare. Truthfully I envied the people using these huts. You’ve done a super job on the hut. It looks amazing.
    I think I may know your family.
    Wishing you many more happy days there.

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