Dream home up for sale
By BREE PRICE
ANDREW BRYSON and Marion Blake are giving up their dream, after spending eight years creating the bed and breakfast they had always hoped to own.
The couple are walking away from their half-completed English-style manor development at Knockrow, auctioning it off tomorrow.
"This was always something we wanted to do, but we're burnt out," said Mr Bryson, co-owner of the AM:PM cafe in Lennox Head.
"This has consumed us for eight years."
The property has generated much comment among real estate watchers, with Elders Lennox Head sales and marketing co-ordinator Dan Roman even approaching Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson to buy the house.
The development includes antiques Andrew and Marion hand-picked and collected, such as three sets of stainedglass windows from a church in Toowoomba in Queensland and huge timber beams from the old Woodlawn railway bridge.
Mr Bryson said they had also picked up antique teak floorboards from an old farmhouse, 150-year-old French doors from a convent and the staircase from the original GPO in Sydney's Martin Place, but they had not yet been in- stalled in the work-in-progress development.
He said the items could be negotiated into the sale.
"Every spare minute has been spent chasing down things for the house," he said.
"We want to offer it to someone else who has our vision.
"We're looking at getting into breeding horses.
"We've had lots of tears, and there will be more if it sells on the day."
The property sits on a hectare, and as well as provision for seven en suite bedrooms, it includes four open fireplaces and cathedral ceiling living areas.
The easterly-looking verandah has views of the coastline from Lennox Head to Broken Head.
A stable at the rear of the property is also included in the sale.
The development has council approval to operate as a bed and breakfast.
Elders Lennox Head princi- pal Michael King said it was difficult to speculate on a price, because there was nothing to compare it with on the market.
"The way someone wants to finish it off and the money they want to spend also makes a big difference," he said.
"There has been plenty of interest.
"I hope to sell it on the day."
The auction will be held on-site at 11am tomorrow.