DURING the hedonistic 1970s he made furniture for some of the biggest names in music – now Brian Clark is living out his semi-retirement like a medieval king in 1066 Country.
Well, almost. The 60-year-old has left friends and neighbours flabbergasted with his latest creation – a miniature Tudor-style cottage at the end of his garden.
Measuring five metres by three metres, with a floor space of 15 square metres, the grandiosely named Weald Hall is modelled on the traditional cottages found dotted across the Sussex countryside.
And the feedback from people who have seen it has been so good, the carpenter has decided to go into businesses making similar sheds for other people.
However, as he told the Observer, the idea started like most other DIY projects - after being told to do something by his wife.
“I have done the kitchen at home and was doing some work on a pond,” Mr Clark explained, “and I suddenly thought, why not go for something bigger?
“I had always wanted to work with oak and the idea of a cottage was something different which will last for years.
“Originally I want to use it as a pottery studio, but my three grandchildren love playing in it so it is multi-use now and has its own rocking horse inside.”
Worried about the issue of planning permission, Mr Clark took his ideas to Hastings Borough Council which gave him the green light and, according to the father-of-three, gave the end result a thumbs up as well. “I took some photographs in to show people and they loved it.
“I have also walked into some estate agents to ask what they thought and they offered to send a surveyor around thinking it was a real house.
“My neighbours think it is great and I have already had a couple of enquiries from people wanting me to build one for them.”
The one drawback to anyone reading this who fancies their own medieval court is the price. Mr Clark estimates the overall cost of the four-week work is approaching £24,000.
More the preserve of the rich and famous then perhaps? Well, that would not be out of keeping with some of Mr Clark’s other work.
“I made large items of furniture and had quite a few high profile customers.
“Boy George once bought some chairs from me - and stuck them on his ceiling - and the Rolling Stones drummer (Charlie Watts) bought a table off me.
“I have done a lot of different style of carpentry over the years, but nothing quite like this.”
The wood wizard has now gone into businesses with his two sons, Tim and Christopher, and is already thinking about what he can do next. “I am busy designing and drawing,” he said. “I have plenty of ideas for other designs I am working on.”
And what about his wife? Is she as big a fan of the cottage as she is of the pond which started it all off? “She loves it. We can see it from the house, through the trees and she thinks it is great.”
For more information on the garden cottages, visit www.garden-cottages.co.uk.