Luxury is an indoor shower and a flush toilet

Feather family members (from left) Jonathan Watt (15), Nicholas Watt (17), Linda and Bill Feather...
Feather family members (from left) Jonathan Watt (15), Nicholas Watt (17), Linda and Bill Feather, and Liz Watt, all of Mosgiel, enjoy their restored Chrystalls Beach crib. PHOTOS: GREGOR RICHARDSON
When Bill and Linda Feather bought a dilapidated old shack at Chrystalls Beach to turn into their first crib, some probably thought they should drive a bulldozer through the front door and start over.

"Rough would be a polite word for it. It was derelict," Mrs Feather said.

"But Bill never thought once about pulling it down. He always thought we'd be able to fix it up."

Mr Feather said the crib was built at the request of a wealthy Milton jeweller in about 1900, as a seaside holiday spot.

"It really was just a small shack and it has been added on to, over the years."

The Feather family crib when Bill and Linda Feather bought it 19 years ago.
The Feather family crib when Bill and Linda Feather bought it 19 years ago.
The couple bought it after seeing it advertised in a newspaper 19 years ago.

"It was our 30th wedding anniversary and we'd hired cribs every Christmas until that point."

Mrs Feather said they wanted something to call their own.

Upon purchase, the windows were broken, the weatherboards were rotten and there were holes in the roof, she said.

"It was draughty in places, and over the first few winters we had buckets all over the place because the roof leaked.

It may have crystal clear water and white sand, but the beach, 16km southeast of Milton, was...
It may have crystal clear water and white sand, but the beach, 16km southeast of Milton, was named after an early settler, Francis Chrystall. Photos: Gregor Richardson
"A new roof was our first priority."

Mr Feather said they had steadily worked away on it, as time allowed, and now it was almost as good as new.

"We've tried to keep the outside of it, as it was when we bought it."

Anyone who saw it the day they bought it, would struggle to believe the transformation, Mrs Feather said.

"We've got luxury now. We've got a shower and a flush toilet.

Nest of Feathers family crib at Crystals Beach. PHOTO: Gregor Richardson
Nest of Feathers family crib at Crystals Beach. PHOTO: Gregor Richardson
"Before that, it was a trip outside to the long-drop."

Not surprisingly, the old shack is now known as the Nest of Feathers.

Mr Feather said the crib was a major improvement on what it used to be, but there was still some work to be done.

"You don't want to be a bit tipsy walking around inside, because the floor is very uneven.

"You feel as though your feet are falling away from you - all of a sudden, there's no floor.

"The foundations are still a bit wonky."

Mr Feather said part of the reason he had persevered with the restoration was because he wanted it to be a family holiday spot that could be enjoyed by generations of his family to come.

The view from the crib. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The view from the crib. Photo: Gregor Richardson

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