Alasdair Beaton

811 Talbot Street

A record collection, and a beautiful coffered ceiling, lead Alasdair Beaton and his wife Mary to buy their home at 811 Talbot Street. Promising the previous owner that they would care for the house, Alasdair and Mary developed a simple principle for themselves when any repair work is needed: “respect the house”. The feel and appearance of the house is essentially unchanged from when they bought it, and it is still a place that they love.


In the following story, Alasdair Beaton tells a story about how buying a record collection led to he and his wife Mary buying their home.


I came here to buy a record collection. The coffered ceiling immediately caught my attention and then after a discussion with Ann Harley, who was selling the record collection, I asked her if the house might be going up for sale and told her that my wife and I might be interested. And it went from there.

It mattered to the previous owners that they found somebody who was going to treat their house well and I think that they were worldly enough to realize that they can’t control that completely. They wanted someone to live here and love the house as they had. And we promised them that we would live here and that we would look after the house. They had no way of knowing whether we would keep that promise or not but I believe that we have. And one of the guiding principles for Mary and I has been that any change or improvement that we try to make to the house, that it respects the house as it is, and so that means that the feel and appearance of the house is essentially unchanged.

I was in the house several times before we actually purchased it and walked around the neighborhood many more times. And to this day I still find features about the house that I find very endearing and attractive, and make it a place that I want to stay in for a long time.

Ann Harley told Mary that she had consulted the house spirit to help her find a good custodian for their house. Take that for what it’s worth. We haven’t actually experienced the house spirit but there could be one you never know. I’m open minded.


If you’d like to hear more stories from the Great Talbot area walk north along Talbot Street, turn right onto St. James Street and look for another Hear, Here sign on the south side just before you reach St. George.