The Cottage as it is today
When Mrs Smith sadly died in 1995, villagers met to decide how to retain the cottage. The Friends of Mrs Smith's Cottage Group was formed, and with the help of North Kesteven District Council, an application was made for a lottery grant from Heritage Lottery. Together with fundraising and financial help from North Kesteven District Council, the cottage was purchased and renovated.
The work was carried out by Taskers Builders, and was completed in early 1999. The aim was to have the cottage looking almost exactly as it was when Mrs Smith was living in it, but extensive work was necessary on the roof to make it watertight.
It was not possible to retain the original pigsty and storage sheds as they were in a poor condition. However, with the additional use of a donated garage building, we were able to construct a small Visitor Centre, to house our reception area and displays.
We were unable to move the artefacts straight back in because the cottage was still extremely damp. However, with constant warmth from the range, the building gradually dried out. Mould patches were removed from the wallpaper using stale bread - a tried and tested method.
We finally opened to the public on July 7th 1999, four years after our very first public meeting.
The Cottage was accredited as a museum in 2000.