CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today CLICK HERE

A festive fixer

PUBLISHED: 12:48 29 November 2016

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

Archant

Jo Charles and Dave Harrison’s cottage is full of seasonal atmosphere and charm. Words and images: Tony Hall

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

There are certain people who have an ability to make things happen. They are highly valued, particularly in the American film industry, where they are known as ‘fixers’. They sort everything a location crew needs, but primarily, they have a contacts book to die for. One person who really fits the bill is Jo Charles.

Jo and husband Dave Harrison, a primary school teacher at Snape, bought a Grade II listed cottage built in 1485, a pub that closed its doors in 1932, in a north Suffolk market town.

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

“In 2004,” recalls Jo, “I had had enough of London, and having frequent trips up here to see friends in Theberton, I decided to start looking. When I first saw the particulars, I only glanced at them as it had been photographed from the back. It was only on closer inspection I saw the Georgian front and inside the smoke stained beams, the witches’ marks the wiggly floors, the old tap room and the large fireplaces. They sold the property to me.”

Jo was born in Oxford and was there for two years before moving to East Hanney, Oxfordshire. After school in Abingdon, and university at Bristol, where she studied German and Spanish, she went to gain work experience in Vienna as a nanny, and then at the Hotel Post in Zermatt, run by the legendary Karl Ivarsson. As a result her knowledge of languages is excellent – she speaks French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

“I was 21,” she says. “Zermatt really was a fun place to go, though my parents said the inevitable, ‘when are you going to get a proper job?’ Well I did, sort of, as a trolley dolly with Air 2000.”

Since then, Jo has worked as a recruiter for a London agency, then as a management consultant, before coming to Suffolk in 2003. She now concentrates her considerable skills on public relations, marketing and events. She has organised weddings at Butley Priory, corporate events and sponsorship at Snape for Aldeburgh Music, works at Latitude, for Cirque du Soleil around Europe, BBC 2 Proms in Hyde Park and music festivals in Oxfordshire and Nottinghamshire, plus yearly trips to Zermatt to manage a chalet.

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

Jo and Dave married in 2007. Originally from Ulverston, Cumbria, Dave was working in the Midlands, before joining Jo in Suffolk.

To someone of Jo’s talents, organising a family Christmas is a doddle.

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

“I love the whole thing,” she says. “I start at the beginning of December, with the tree going up. Then it’s Christmas music straight on, decorations up, followed by a bottle of fizz by the lit fire.

I make wreaths, not just for the front door, but for neighbours too. I like to go to every Christmas market and the carol services in local churches, followed by mulled wine. I judge each service on its minced pies and wine! One of my favourites is Spexhall Church, by candlelight.

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

“On Christmas Eve it’s down to the farm for the Brussels sprouts, before the 3.30pm Christingle service at the local church with all the locals, and back here for drinks and a candle lit meal at 8pm, with canapés and fish pie. This year my parents are coming – fantastic. Christmas morning it’s mulled wine at Hugh and David’s Beach-hut on Southwold prom, with sausage rolls and mince pies, while watching the swimmers.

“Back here, we have Christmas lunch of roast beef in the tap room. In the evening it’s around the fire, maybe some TV, board games and drinks with snacks. Boxing Day after a morning walk it’s a buffet lunch, and on the 28th it’s Dad’s birthday. In the lead-up for New Years Eve, I help out at a friend’s private party in Walberswick. Then soon into the New Year, it’s off to Zermatt as usual, for a mix of hard work and skiing, to get fit after the indulgences of Christmas.”

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

Jo’s favourite room – and not just at Christmas – is the main sitting room, with its magical fireplace and smoky beams, although she says the tap room next door, used as a dining room, is equally great, especially for singing carols around the piano.

“My favourite waste of time, is just sitting looking at glossy magazines by the fire in winter and walking by the sea at Southwold in summer. A favourite walk is from Southwold to Walberswick, calling in to my favourite shop, Tinkers on the green, run by Sarah, who has a great eye.

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

“Two favourite pubs are the Bell at Walberswick (very cosy) and The Anchor, also in Walberswick, which has the very best hand-cut chips. A long walk I do when I have time, is on the back road to Wissett and back across the fields. It takes about two hours, then I flop on the sofa in front of a roaring fire. Total bliss!

“I love the community of this town, everything to hand – butcher, baker, greengrocer, library, banks, and so on. We even have an art centre, run by volunteers, for film, plays, live music and exhibitions.

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

“In the summer I love an early morning cuppa in my garden, gardening being a hobby. I am so fortunate to get involved with exciting projects here and away. If anyone requires a fixer, wants something to happen, I love a challenge!”

With special thanks from Tony Hall to Jo and Dave for all their hard work preparing for photo-shoot. Much appreciated!

Jo Charles is on 07876 566757

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

Email: jocharles@hotmail.com

At a glance

Owners: Jo Charles and Dave Harrison

Suffolk magazine featured home Jo CharlesSuffolk magazine featured home Jo Charles

Property: Grade II listed former inn

Built: 1485, with additions, including the Georgian front

Location: North Suffolk market town.

Bought: 2004

Favourite room: The main sitting room, with its magical fireplace and smoky beams, and the tap room

Favourite item: Eric, the cat.

Favourite interiors shop: Tinkers on the green at Walberswick

Favourite part of the county: The beach and village at Walberswick

Favourite day out: Snape Maltings and Aldeburgh Music

Favourite waste of time: Sitting looking at glossy magazines by the fire in winter, by the sea at Southwold in summer.

Favourite walk: The back road to Wissett, and back across the fields – about two hours.

Favourite pub: The Bell, and The Anchor, both at Walberswick

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EADT Suffolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EADT Suffolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EADT Suffolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Mon, 17:10

When it’s frosty outside there’s nothing better than coming home to a crackling open fire - here are 6 great businesses who can help you find the perfect woodburner, fireplace or stove for your home

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Peter and Lorraine Finn have found their ideal place to get away from it all right on their Woodbridge doorstep | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Thursday, August 23, 2018

When you are next looking to build a brand new kitchen or revitalise your existing kitchen, you should consider these 6 top bespoke designers

Read more
Friday, August 10, 2018

When Jan Packard and Mark Haines were looking for somewhere to share their love of boats they couldn’t resist the unspoilt charms of the Alde and Ore | Words and Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Sunday, July 1, 2018

Residential property company heylo recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging its commitment to fair treatment and support to the Armed Forces community, including regulars, reserves, veterans and their families. The signing took place in a ceremony held at Wellington Barracks

Read more
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A trip to Wingfield on the historic houses scheme, Invitation to View, reveals a medieval college and royal stories aplenty | Words & Photos: Lindsay Want

Read more
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Here at Suffolk Hideaways, we have chosen our top 3 beaches to visit whilst staying in Suffolk. Suffolk Hideaways is a self-catering agency which offer coastal and country retreats, many being dog friendly, family friendly or ideal for a romantic retreat

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

James and Liz Day recapture the magic of their childhood holiday haunts at their family retreat, Amber Cottage in Aldeburgh | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

EADT Suffolk Magazine regular newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search