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    Thursday, 28 January 2010

    A new decade & the house is still saved!

    Since "The Painted House" was last saved from repossession in March 2009, there have been many more ups and downs, difficulties, challenges, hopes and successes. Unfortunately, during August 2009 the house briefly became at risk of repossession once again - but after some difficult decisions, Steve Williams chose to keep on fighting for the house and moved a lodger into the spare room. Currently, Steve can just about afford to keep up mortgage repayments by himself. The story of saving the Painted House from reposession can be read in the blog posts below, and more information will be coming soon about the documentary film that followed the campaign to save the house. Thanks again for everyone's support last year :-)

    Things are also looking hopeful for Steve's artwork. Despite having experienced some recent health difficulties, Steve has kept up with his painting and has been working on a number of new canvas paintings.

    An exhibition of his work is being organised to take place in Stoke-on-Trent in the near future - so watch this space!

    To contact Steve about design, mural or painting commissions, exhibitions or visiting "The Painted House" ring 07919817914, sign the blog guest book or E-mail

    Saturday, 2 May 2009

    Who Saved The Painted House?

    Scott Fletcher, Chairman and CEO of the company ANS Group PLC is the entrepreneur who helped to stop the repossession of The Painted House!
    Scott Fletcher contacted Steve after being made aware of The Painted House through the online "Save The Painted House" campaign - initially through the website Twitter.
    Before they had even met in person, Scott arranged a letter to be faxed to the court agreeing to cover a month's mortgage payment. Scott said he didn't like the thought of the artworks being destroyed if the house was repossessed. Scott wants to give Steve a chance to start making his own money whilst staying in the house and has offered him business advice, he has also expressed an interest to commission artworks in the future.

    BBC Midlands Today also came to interview Steve and Scott and the story featured at 1:30pm and 6:30pm on 15 April 2009.
    Here is the BBC video clip "The house judged a cultural gem"

    Here is the BBC online article "Business man saves artist's home"

    Here is the story on the ANS Group website:
    "Tweeting Mancunian entrepreneur Scott Fletcher saves Stoke's painted house"

    Here is a link to the Sentinel article, Friday 3rd April 2009

    After having been given this wonderful opportunity, Steve still has many challenges ahead of him. This blog will continue to follow the story of Steve's progress.

    Any inquiries about buying artwork/prints, visiting The Painted House, or any advice, messages and comments for Steve, either comment in the sections below these blog posts, sign the blog guest book, or e-mail
    also, for direct contact, Steve's phone number is 07919817914

    Coming soon... very exciting news about Steve's artistic plans!

    Monday, 30 March 2009

    0 days, 0 hours, 0 minutes.... in Court

    It has been a tense afternoon.

    With 30 minutes left, we were outside the court and Steve had not yet arrived - we phoned him and realised that he had forgotten about daylight saving time!!! That meant he was an hour behind schedule and hadn't realised!
    After a quick phone call and an emergency taxi ride to court, Steve arrived just in the nick of time!

    He quickly put on his tie and went in.

    Waiting outside we weren't sure what was going on and we were all crossing our fingers.

    Steve met with his advisor and the mortgage company representative.
    Pictures of the Painted House and printouts of the websites were taken in to court.
    Also, the court received a fax which pledged to pay this month's mortgage instalment in return for a commissioned artwork by Steve!

    Steve has had several hopeful offers to commission his artworks and designs over the last 15 days. A
    n entrepreneur from Manchester, who contacted Steve during the campaign, was responsible for pledging the money and sending the fax to save the Painted House from repossession!

    The judge ruled that - in light of the payment being agreed and future art commissions being in discussion - the repossession would not take place, and that the situation would be reviewed in five months time.


    Steve is quite overwhelmed by today's events!

    Thank you for all your support! Thanks to those of you who have sent messages and also everyone who came to visit on the Open Day. Don't forget to keep checking this blog - we will continue to update it with news of Steve's art and the future of the Painted House. :-)

    Friday, 27 March 2009

    Here are the final details for the Open Day at The Painted House!
    Saturday 28th March 2009 (today)

    Between 12pm and 10pm, come down to see the art(free entry). Why not make an afternoon of it and sit and do a bit of drawing in the painted house? (We will be!) If musical, bring a guitar or instrument of choice - let's make it a celebration of art inside the house!

    We will have camera equipment and will be filming now and then during the day in different rooms - but if you don't wish to appear on film just let us know and that's fine. If you do wish to be on film you can let us know that too!

    Should be a fun day :-)

    Here is the Blurb listing for the event:

    If you can't find the way give us a ring
    Steve: 07919817914
    Laura: 07778558917

    here's the address again:

    11 Aubrey Street
    ST6 4QF

    This link should take you to a clearer map of the house ~map link~
    (If it doesn't work search for the postcode online St64QF.)
    You should get something like this:
    Goldenhill is just after driving through Tunstall and before reaching Kidsgrove. Following signs to Kidsgrove from the South (the Hanley or Stoke direction) should mean you will pass through Goldenhill.

    The buses from Hanley/"S-o-T City Centre" are the 20 and the 20a which run regularly during the whole day. (There may be another new service other than First Buses not sure which number).
    For the 20 and 20a buses, get off either outside "Sandyford" McDonalds - and walk up Broadfield Road for 5/10 mins, or be adventurous and wait until the further stop outside "the Red Lion" pub and journey left and past the houses then North East across the field.

    If in doubt, walk up hill! :-)

    Hope to see you there!

    ~Steve and friends

    Tuesday, 24 March 2009

    24th March 2009

    A view of Aubrey Street, Goldenhill.

    Wednesday 18th March

    11 days left.

    Steve distributed more posters searching for a possible last minute housemate.
    There has been lots of interest in Steve's art over the internet and many good luck messages sent. (Thanks!)
    If you are interested in commissioning a piece of Steve's art - however small,
    contact: or phone Steve 07919817914

    Thursday 19th March
    The Sentinel interviewed Steve today and took photographs of him beside his murals. We filmed footage for The Painted House on Goldenhill documentary. Steve explained to us that he hadn't realised the positive way in which so many people would react to his paintings as he is usually very critical of his own work. He expressed a big thanks to everyone who has been helping spread the word about his house and his current situation. With increasing optimism about the possibilities of future artworks, the mood lifted in the Painted House this afternoon. Maybe there is hope on the horizon?

    Friday 20th March
    Steve had his eagerly awaited job interview today. Although he was initially optimistic about the possible job, unfortunately very few hours were offered, the contract was for only 8 hours a week minimum wage. They will contact him with the result of the interview over the weekend.

    The Sentinel returned to film The Painted House artwork and interviewed Steve on camera
    talking about his house and paintings.

    Later, we went to the 'Shifting Origins' exhibition of our friends Andy Flint and Behjat Omer Abdulla (at Artwaves, Nile Street in Burslem).
    We also talked to local artists there about Stoke-on-Trent exhibitions and the artist's online network Blurb. After being encouraged by the enthusiasm for his artwork from increasing numbers of people, Steve hopes one day he might have an art exhibition somewhere locally.

    We started brainstorming ideas for Saturday 28th and plan to get local artists and musicians involved somehow.

    only 9 days.... there seems to be very little time left now.

    Saturday 21st March
    Today Steve found out that he didn't get the job :-(

    Planning for Saturday 28th March - an Open Day at The Painted House
    We are looking for local artists and musicians to get involved with the event. Contact:
    07778558917 Laura Fletcher (organising)

    Sunday 22nd March
    Steve played on his acoustic guitar today around the Goldenhill area which cheered up passers by who suggested a musical career! He has also had interest in his art from someone who may potentially be commissioning some artwork from him in the future.
    -watch this space for further news-

    Monday 23rd March
    Steve went to the job centre to sign on this afternoon. He has run out of food and electric and won't get any money until Thursday 26th. He has worked out that once all bills and expenses have been paid on Thursday he will have just £44 remaining - and of course he will need to spend a lot of that money on food and electric for the next 2 weeks. The sum of £360 needed for Monday 28th seems far off - but perhaps not impossible?

    Steve has seen a forklift job ad he'll be enquiring about (although it's very far away he might be able to cycle there).

    Today the full page colour article on The Painted House was in The Sentinel, and a really nicely done video interview has been posted online.

    We put up posters and started handing out fliers for the Painted House Open Day.
    More filming for the documentary - a recap on everything that has been going on with Steve and the house so far - over this last week so much has happened!
    People seem to like the websites :-) (Thanks!) e-mail with comments/suggestions. (you can also add comments to the bottom of these blog posts - without having to be signed in to a Blogger account).

    Tuesday 24th March
    This morning Steve was Live on air from The Painted House on BBC Radio Stoke
    he was interviewed by reporter Katie Ingram.
    Recording link: Breakfast_24_03_2009 (the radio recording is available online until Tuesday 31st March - the section about the house starts at approx. 1:23:40 - which at the time was about 8:20am)
    Unfortunately it cut out during the interview - but I guess that's what comes of a live broadcast from a distant hill in a house with foil covering the walls!

    Today there was also another notice in The Sentinel about the Open Day on Saturday.
    As we were filming an update for the documentary, there was a knock at the door of The Painted House. A photographer came by from an agency in based in France and London who thought that people far and wide might be interested in seeing the house. We asked him a few questions and he took pictures, it was only once he had left that we realised maybe he didn't even know the house was due to be repossessed!

    It has been a surreal few days.

    6 days left..

    ...there are some exciting new developments taking place - the details of which will be worked out over the next few days!

    Saturday 28th March will be Open Day at The Painted House on Goldenhill!
    Let us know if you are free to pop by and see the art, or just turn up between 12pm and 10pm.
    If you need directions:

    11 Aubrey Street, Goldenhill, Stoke-on-Trent
    ST6 4QF

    Friday, 20 March 2009

    Blog Guest Book

    Here is a space to leave any general comments about the artworks or the blog, inquiries about buying artwork/paintings/prints/murals, artistic collaborations, interest in visiting The Painted House, or any advice, messages and comments for Steve Williams. Let us know that you have been following the story of The Painted House.

    (Anyone can comment not just registered Blogspot/Blogger users.)

    You can also e-mail
    and also, for direct contact, Steve's phone number is 07919817914

    Thanks for all your support!
    sorry, commenting is currently switched off

    Tuesday, 17 March 2009

    17th March 2009

    A quick update:
    Steve, who is only 25 and living in the painted house alone, is seeking to rent a room/houseshare and is seeking employment to pay his mortgage - he is a qualified fork lift truck driver and graphic designer (HND). He is also available for mural painting, artwork and tattoo designs.

    Having taken on the mortgage at the early age of 19 when he bought the house from his Mum and Dad, he has struggled supporting himself financially over the last 5 years, especially since he is now unemployed with outstanding bills to pay. He deserves a break and we will do whatever we can to help Steve save his amazing house!

    Monday 16th

    Today Steve got more information from the Citizen's Advice Bureaux, who advised that he would have to pay this month's instalment of £340 plus £20 as well as being in either part time or full time employment by 30th March. They said it would also help if he can find a lodger in time as that would show that he would be more likely to be able to make future payments. They will contact him a few days before the 30th.

    With so few days left, it is quite a mission to try to make things happen quickly.

    Steve continued his job search in Hanley, showing his certificates and putting his name down at employment agencies. Many of the agencies were closed down or locked up with signs in the windows due to lack of jobs in the area. One agency appeared to have signs for fork lift truck driver vacancies - but later Steve was told the positions had been filled over a week ago even though the signs were still displayed. One agency told him to continue to phone each day to check for new jobs they might have, another agency told him to stop phoning!

    Steve has designed posters, which we have photocopied and distributed around the area advertising a room for rent and the address of this website to see his house and artwork.
    To enquire about renting a room/houseshare (£50 a week)
    ring Steve: 07919817914
    more artwork is also now uploaded to:
    email enquiries:

    This evening, the documentary crew filmed some interiors of the house. It was quite a downbeat evening as the threat of repossession is very real and right around the corner, it was weighing heavily on all of our minds as we admired the murals.

    Tuesday 17th

    After a long night of filming, we were all very tired today. Steve spent the day going around local businesses knocking on the doors of employers asking if there were any jobs. Eventually, after explaining the situation with his house, Steve managed to get an interview on Friday!

    A lot of interest in the house seems to have been sparked on the sites
    Facebook + Twitter
    (+ now Myspace)

    Thanks to everyone showing your support!