Property Secrets: Andy Halliday
- Credit: Archant
Since retiring from the Metropolitan Police in 2010, Andy Halliday has worked as an international hockey player, coach and manager. He currently coaches St Albans, England Indoor and manages England and Great Britain Men. He shares his property secrets...
Where are you from originally? I was born and bred in Harpenden – I lived up near Wood End and attended Roundwood Primary, then went to St Albans Grammar (now Verulam).
When did you buy your first property?
I bought an upstairs maisonette in Hazelwood Drive, St Albans in 1987 for £60,000. It was a great foot onto the property ladder. I shared it with another lad who taught at Verulam School. It was ideal for me – as a Met Police officer I was commuting into London. We were surrounded by older folk so no wild eighties parties! It was a great place to live, a short cycle to Clarence Park and the hockey club where I spent most of my training and social time.
What did you like or dislike about it?
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It was a bit small and needed a bit of refurbishment as most of the decor was very seventies!
How long did you live there?
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Why did you decide to move?
I decided I needed a slightly bigger house so moved to Riverside Road, St Albans. It was a two bedroom townhouse on three levels. Initially I shared and rented, then bought the house from the landlord. I had a very happy nine years there. It was a stone’s throw from the buzz of the middle of town and an ideal location for the short walk to the station. My job in the Police had changed and I was using the train regularly into London. Then I met my wife!
Where did you live next?
We bought a house in Tyttenhanger Green, a village on the outskirts of St Albans. A brilliant location with The Plough pub literally next door. A lovely two-bed cottage surrounded by open fields. Hockey had created a great link to The Plough where the staff supported us on many of our European trips. It was our social home away from Clarence Park. I always said that if there were an impending nuclear attack, we’d go and sit in ‘the snug’ in the Plough (surrounded by beer and good food)! We’d also recently acquired Hogarth, a rather lively Labrador. The open fields and close locality to some great dog walks made Tyttenhanger an ideal spot to live.
Which other areas have you lived in?
I spent the early eighties living in Tottenham in North London – a diverse population with very contrasting areas of housing. As I was also policing Tottenham, I saw much of the good and bad of the area, including the terrible riots of October 1985. Understandbly, I was keen to move back to my roots and family and commute into work. I needed the escape!
Where do you live now?
Ballinger near Great Missenden, Bucks (near Bisham Abbey where I work with the Great Britain hockey team.)
Who do you live with?
My wife and our two lurchers.
How long have you lived there?
How would you describe your home in three words?
Cosy, rural, small.
What do you like about the area?
We are in a small village on the Chilterns, ideal for running and dog walks. Since living in Tyttenhanger, I have really enjoyed rural life, being surrounded by open fields.
What’s your favourite local pub and why?
The Old Swan, Swan Bottom. Good food, local produce. A country pub and there are not many of them left.
Have you changed much about your house since you’ve lived there?
We levelled and dropped the living room floor when we moved in.
Where do you shop for interiors items?
We are not too fussed about the interior. With two lurchers, it is always tough to keep the place completely spick and span.
What’s the best thing about your home? And the worst?
Best is the location... worst is it is just a bit tight on storage space.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
The Cornwall coast.
Do you see yourself moving on in the near future?
We intend to move early next year. Our friends and social circle are based a few miles away towards Tring – I play cricket for Hawridge and Cholesbury and my wife has horse and land over near Tring. Hence, we would like to move further over towards Tring and Berkhamsted.
What would your dream home be like?
On the coast, looking over the sea, big windows. Small low-maintenance garden, large open plan kitchen/dining room with lounge and open fire.
To find out more about Andy, visit www.andyhalliday.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @andyhalliday3.