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Just what the doctor ordered; The Hungarian Consul's home is an office and medical consulting rooms but still reflects its Georgian origins. Jane Gallagher reports.

RODNEY STREET has to be one of the most famous roads in Liverpool, if not the country. The smart Georgian terraces reveal many secrets of Liverpool's rich heritage thanks to the addition of plaques outside the buildings.

Today most of those buildings are a curious mixture of businesses, doctor's surgeries and homes. And one such building is all three in one.

The home of Dr Andrew Zsigmond is the elegant house he shares with his wife, Carol, but it is also a thriving medical practice and the offices of the Hungarian Consul.

It was also the former home of the famous Dr Charles Thurston Holland who almost discovered X-Rays in what is now Dr Zsigmond's bar.

'Dr Holland was a bit of a character, a bon viveur who was a familiar sight walking down to the Adelphi Hotel with his Top Hat and silver cane. He was working on the X-Ray when a German doctor pipped him to the post,' explains Andrew.

The Zsigmonds have lived in the house since 1977 when Andrew was looking for both a new home and premises for his busy occupational medicine practice.

'The house was ideal and has been a very happy home,' says Andrew who arrived in Liverpool in 1956 following the Hungarian Uprising.

A third-year medical student, Andrew fled to neighbouring Austria before he moved to Barnsley in Yorkshire where he was employed as a coal miner.

A local MP took up Andrew's case and within nine months Andrew had managed to obtain a place at Liverpool University where he was able to continue his medical studies.

In 1993 he was approached to become one of four Hungarian Consuls in the United Kingdom and he now covers the North ofthe United Kingdom. ' When I started my Consul post I used to have about one case a month to deal with now it's more like three a week and will increase when Hungary join the EU,' he smiles.

But the Zsigmond's thrive on a busy life. Carol organises the business side of the clinic, which offers occupational health services, and a range of cosmetic medicine.

'We are real town people and this house is ideal because we are within walking distance of the theatres, restaurants and shops,' says Carol.

Andrew, a former President of both The Artists's Club and the Liverpool Medical Institution, has a busy social life too' The house is split over several floors and has a very peaceful garden which means there is always somewhere to escape to for a bit of peace and quiet,' he smiles.

The garden is a perfect example. Hidden away the courtyard-style garden is located in the shadow of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral and is home to a very popular talking point.

'Ah, the phone box,' says Andrew.

'We bought that because the architect who designed the Anglican Cathedral also designed the telephone box. The telephone box was a bargain but hiring the crane to get it into the garden wasn't such a cheap buy At the rear of the garden is a covered patio area where the couple often entertain friends and family. The ground floor of the building houses Andrew's consulting and examination rooms together with a huge bar which would not look out of place in a Gentlemen's Club.

The grand staircase is decorated with a striking gilt rail and sweeps to the top of the house. A lover of fine art, Andrew's large collection of original oil paintings provides focal points throughout the grand house.

The drawing room with its ornate chandeliers and grand piano is used for entertaining while the cosy living room with its easy chairs is the couple's hideaway. The drawing room was once a typists's pool when the building had been used as offices and it wasn't until renovation work was under way that the couple discovered the intricate gold work, columns and black marble fireplace which had been painted over. 'We have tried to restore the house in keeping with the times but at the same time make it our home too. 'We have really enjoyed living here but when we do eventually move I dread to think where we would put everything because I can't imagine any other house being able to contain all the stuff we have collected over the years


A grand staircase winds its way to the top of the house
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 23, 2005
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