Because, in scale perhaps more than materials, The Quarters hardly belong to Lundy's traditional style of building, they were carefully sited where they would be least noticeable, once their timber walls had faded to grey. There they live out a very useful life, providing housing for permanent staff and a lodging for official visitors. Until 2003, part of the building also served as a second hostel for large parties, with one of the best views on Lundy from the living room. However, at this time the popularity of the Landmarks on Lundy led to a review of accommodation on the island. Staff needed more and improved living quarters and it was also felt that a more traditional Landmark approach would prove more popular than the somewhat spartan conditions of the original Quarters.
It was therefore decided to create a ‘new’ Quarters in what used to be the General Manager’s flat at the end of the front block. This gave visitors more privacy (a longstanding complaint of the former arrangement) as well as an even better view of St Helena Church and the north Devon coast to the south, and of the Old Lighthouse to the north-west. A private garden was also created at the back.
The work was organised (and largely carried out) by Reg Lovel, long-standing member of the Lundy community and Landmark employee. Reg had also carried out the original erection of the buildings some 20 years earlier. He was helped with the 2003 works by Keith Ward, Ernie Dowding and Steve Collinson, with further support from Devon-based JDC Builders of Ivybridge.
Regular complaints about the former accommodation – from visitors and staff alike – related to poor sound insulation between properties and poor protection from the elements. The re-arrangement helped address both problems, by placing the sitting room furthest from the party wall and by providing the opportunity to introduce much better insulation measures against wind and cold. Kitchen and bathroom facilities were also improved, with a shower over the bath to help conserve the precious island water supply.
The sitting room windows were carefully repositioned to frame the optimum view, while the painted, matchboarded walls and stained softwood floor not only provide still further insulation but also an interior that is both cosy and workmanlike, in keeping with these functional buildings which, by now, have earned their own place in the island’s history.