The story of our home.
QUICKSWOOD was built around 1915 by Sir Howard Trott on a plot of land he purchased from Herbert Francis Wilson and Carrie Peniston Wilson on July 1st, 1914. Sir Howard, a prominent businessman and first president of the Bermuda Olympic Association, named his house QUICKSWOOD after Quickswood, Hertfordshire, a town in England where his family had its roots. His ancestor, Perient Trott, had traveled from England as a member of the powerful Bermuda Company, the entity that essentially ran Bermuda from 1616 – 1684 until it became a Crown Colony. Perient’s brother, Sir Nicholas Trott was Governor of the Bahamas from 1694 – 1696. Nat Hutchings, a prominent architect of the time, designed the house for Sir Howard. QUICKSWOOD is somewhat of a departure from the traditional vernacular style for which Hutchings is known.
Polly Hornburg, once Bermuda’s fashion icon as owner of high-end clothing store CALYPSO was born in QUICKSWOOD in 1916. Her brother Thaddeus, also born in this house, was to become one of the most astute businessmen in Bermuda. Among his many holdings was the well known cottage colony Cambridge Beaches in Somerset.
In the ‘60s, the house changed hands several times in rapid succession. In 1961 Sir Howard Trott sold to Warren Durham Eve for £12,000; one year later, Warren Durham Eve sold to Alfred David Barber for £12,000 and a “city” property; in 1968 Alfred David Barber sold to Sir James Appleby Pearman for £27,500. During this period, QUICKSWOOD was at times a family home and at others a boarding house. Terry Brannan, well known musician and owner of the 40 Thieves Club, rented QUICKSWOOD for a number of years during the '60s and Tony and Marilyn, his children, tell me that quite a number of well-known entertainers stayed and partied in the house. Among them was Mel Torme, the great jazz singer and his actress wife Janet Scott as well as other notables including The Drifters, Wilson Pickett, Ben E. King, The Shirelles, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Ike & Tina Turner, King Curtis and The Kingpins, The Rockin' Berries and Sam Cooke. The Australian balladeer, Rolf Harris, of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" fame apparently spent quite a bit of time here. Tony Brannan regaled me with a few other "salty" anecdotes about QUICKSWOOD one of which involves him "losing" something (that something that can never be found again once lost) right on the living-room floor at age 15. Say no more.
In 1976 Sir James Appleby Pearman sold to Reid Trott Young who then sold to John Roland Rankin and Akemi Rankin in 1988.
Sometime in 1991, Josée and I decided it was time to start looking for a home. It was a buyer’s market and rents were ridiculously high. In December 1991 Josée started looking seriously. Unfortunately, there were fewer than ten homes available for purchase by non-Bermudians. Then one day, Jonnelle White, our realtor, took Josée to see a house that had been on the market for over a year. Josée was immediately intrigued by the turn onto Between the Walls segueing from the hustle and bustle of Pitts Bay to the serene privacy of this private cul-de-sac.
Finally, on January 31st, 1992, we purchased the property from John Roland Rankin and Akemi Rankin and moved in on February 15, 1992.
QUICKSWOOD, 25 Between the Walls, Pembroke, our home address since 1992. Join us on future posts for a tour of the grounds and step inside to see some of changes this old house has undergone.