Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | October 25, 2011

The Talliston Project – a Fantasy Come True

A 'normal house' starts to change...

Ever since I was a child I have had a fantasy that one day I would like to turn a house into an ‘Other’ world – with every room acting like a doorway into a different realm. I imagine it must be quite a common fantasy. I can’t have been the only kid who used to climb into wardrobes desperately hoping that The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe had been misclassified as fiction. I used to go to Battersea park where there was a funfair built for the 1951 Festival of Britain. There you could visit a grotto which wafted a strange incense-like smell into the air and had coloured bulbs hidden in niches to create eerie effects. It was all marvellously tacky and I longed to turn our house into such a place. If only my dad had been good with plaster and chicken wire (and mad and with time on his hands)!

Interior of the 'Watchtower'

Lo and behold I have just opened a copy of OBOD’s monthly magazine Touchstone and there is a feature on the Talliston Project – the crazy, wonderful and not at all tacky world of author John Trevillian, who has converted an ordinary looking semi-detached house into a magical world of its own – with a Voodoo kitchen , Haunted Bedroom, a Pre-War detective’s office and more. As John says ‘Talliston is a state of geography, it is also a state of mind. It is a place of imagination and delight. Somewhere extraordinary within the ordinary. ..’ To learn more about the project, and the exciting ideas behind it, see its website.


Responses

  1. I had those fantasies too when I was little, imagining doorways to other realms in all kinds of places – I always found it soo frustrating that I never found the way through!

    What an enchanting project – thank you for telling us about it.

  2. I can think of two man-made places where I’ve experienced a magical “other” world – one was Portmeirion in North Wales and the other was the Shell Grotto in Margate.

  3. I really enjoyed the article in Touchstone, and the poem!

  4. What a delightful idea! I could redecorate…..

  5. It reminds me of some project that a friend of my mum started years ago in California, it’s called the Red Victorian Bed and Breakfast (a peace travellers hotel). Here is the link, when you described the Talliston project, the Red Victorian Hotel came into my mind, LOL. http://www.redvic.com

    • How fabulous – what a great idea! I’ll try to stay there if I ever get over to the west coast again!


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