I was born here, in this property, and me bed used to be down that way. And then I worked away for a bit. And then my father died suddenly, and I had to come back to look after my mum.

Do you know which room you were born in?

Yeah, in here, in 1933.

Eileen, Courtenay Road

So were you born here?

Yes, in 1959. I learnt to walk out on the roof garden, the balcony, so at the time there was my nan, my mum and dad, I had a sister, and myself, and a dog. 1954 my mum and dad moved in, and it had just been built. And they didn’t want one of the places at that end because they’d seen bulldozers moving all the rubble from when the bombs went off, so that end haven’t got much soil, they’ve got a lot of rubble up there, so they chose this one.

Sue, Cornwallis Road

My mother saw Mr Banks out, and he came round to Albert Road and gave Roy and I the flat in Carr Road. Mr Banks was the man who came round, he gave out houses and flats, whatever, I think he was called the manager. And Mum had known him from somewhere, I don’t know where. And if you wanted to see him you had to make an appointment and go down to Hawarden Road, you know where the offices were. As I said I’ve been here 42 years, my youngest son was 5, that’s how we always work it out, he’s 47 this year.

Mary, Ardleigh Road

I was in rooms at Tottenham, two attic rooms, private rent, and a friend of my mother in law’s actually, was a friend of someone who knew Mr Banks. And it all worked out that he let me have this flat, in 1961. I was married then. I was so pleased with this when I came here, it wasn’t much but it was better than what I had. And it was 32 and 6 a week.
Everything was green and white, all the outside was all green and white. It was wallpaper everywhere, tiled surrounds everywhere, everything was tiled and you would think of it now as old fashioned. I had a bathroom, which I had never had before, it was an old bathroom, but it was a bathroom. The kitchen was fine, it had been altered before I moved in, because the kitchen at one time was a bedroom, and the bathroom was the kitchen. You know, the toilet was in the kitchen in the old days. It was in a separate compartment, like, but it was in the kitchen.

Maureen, Fleeming Road

M: It was funny, my dad was a telephone engineer. And they had some trouble with their phones down at Hawarden Road, and he was sent there, and he was chatting to Mr Plummer, and he said, my son keeps writing to you for a flat but you never answer him. And so he said, “what’s the name?” So he told him, and he went away, and then he said “oh yeah, I’ve found his application forms, all right we’ll write to him tomorrow,” and we got it within a month, didn’t we?

W: That was 46 years ago, it’ll be 47 in November.

Wendy and Michael, Warner Road

My mother belonged to the Townswomen’s Guild, and one of the ladies, her husband worked in the office at Warner’s, and that’s how we got our flat, and they came and they wanted to know could we afford the rent, what did Bill do, and they went into all the details before we got the flat. And then when they gave us this one, of course the rent was higher, and they went through all the rigmarole again, who did he work for, didn’t ask the actual what you earned, but definitely could we afford the house, which was about 7 and 6 a week. It was a good estate to live on. You had to have a very regular job- on the railway, in the civil service- no hoi polloi.

Beryl, Elphinstone Road

I used to have a shop round the corner in Blackhorse Road, and I lived above the shop. One of the Warner managers, Mr Dear, used to be my customer, he used to come in the shop and buy newspapers and pay the bill for one of their tenants, and I told him I was looking for a property near my shop, and so this was the one that came up closest, so I bought it. The lady who lived here passed away and this came on the market. When I saw it I just loved it.

Mahmood, Maud Terrace

I split up with my partner that I had for a long time, and I bought somewhere on my own, and I had that for years, and Nationwide Anglia being more than happy to take the money off you, but as soon as I didn’t pay it for a couple of months, I was straight in Bow Court. And I got three months to flog it, and I did. It’s reality, isn’t it, these days, money is all isn’t it, these days.
I was very lucky though, when I saw this place, because the kitchen is very large, and I want to get a table and chairs and things, for out there. It’s like everything, there wasn’t any point in saddling myself with too much stuff, as such, because I didn’t know if I was eventually going to have somewhere to put it.

You get a packet of three cheap tea towels, and a bucket, which is still in my bedroom actually, because they took all the kitchen out. It’s a lovely new kitchen, it was redeveloped and they had to put damp proof courses in and what have you, so they took all of the kitchen out, and then put it all back again, eventually. Because I was told a couple of months, but it was more like four months. So it was upheaval. But I do love the flat, I can’t tell you any more than that, I love the flat. It’s a one bedroomed flat, a very very odd, very big flat.

I love it but it’s just a case of I hate where it is.

Paul, Leucha Road

F: We bought the house from a chap… what was his name? He lives somewhere round in north west London, he had bought the house as an investment and was renting it out so when we came to look round there were about ten people living in here and it smelt really bad, and they were all really grumpy obviously because they didn’t want to move out, so there were a lot of people in beds, glaring at us from behind duvets and stuff. There was a couple in the room at the front, a couple in the room at the back, another two.. so that’s eight, nine, sorry there was the Spanish man with flu in the back room.

I: I can remember feeling really awkward, wanting to look into this guy’s room that is actually his bedroom, we now use it as a dining room, and that thing with the doors there was actually plasterboard there which we ripped out, so he had his bedroom there. And the poor guy looked awful, he’d been sweating and feverish, and we came in and looked at his room and it smelt a bit sweaty and feverish, and like a sick guy was living in there. There was a group of people living here who were co-sharing, house sharing. There was one guy who was the first, I think he was the lead chap, and he was an older guy, probably mid to late forties, maybe a little bit older, he had long hair, and a ponytail and a beard, and apparently he used to do Tai Chi in the front garden, in the mornings, and some of the neighbours, the kids used to call him Gandalf.

F: Oh yes and there were also some people who lived here who would make very very loud phone calls in the back garden at three or four o’clock in the morning, or be out drinking, so actually, we moved into the problem house in the road.

Fiona and Ian, Northcote Road

D: We started looking in January last year. It was like seven months hardcore looking, wasn’t it. It just so happened, at that time there was just a handful of Warners and they were all up by Lloyds Park. And then we thought, this just seems the perfect size for us, once we’d seen the layout of two or three and then we thought, oh my gosh they’re all exactly the same and they seemed to have gardens. I think we must have seen 35, or 40. Because once I saw 10 in one day. And I mean yeah, that was just one day, and me and Edd were looking at every flat, every single weekend, so it must have been about 40 I think.

E: I started pestering him more and more each week, he said that this one had an open house on a Saturday morning. And normally we tried to avoid all the open houses, because it’s just chaos, one in one out.

D: Oh it’s really sad, we came into this one and we just fell in love. I went out into the garden, and I love gardening, and I cried in the garden! And the second we left the front door we called our estate agent. We saw people dotted on the road, and we just said we need to have this house. We were still in the corridor and I was like ‘phone him, phone him, phone him now, phone him now’.

Daisy and Edd, Theydon Street

D: We looked at so many places, I lost count.

A: I think our first Saturday when we had an appointment with an estate agent was about 13 properties, on the Saturday we viewed..

D: Yes we were just running around all day, just ten minutes here, ten minutes there…

A: It was good, because it gave us an idea about the area because we were from one end to another, so it was very good. And the sale of this flat had just fallen through, because the couple that was bidding on it before just split up while they were going through the process, so they just pulled out, and we thought is that a bad omen or something. But we liked it so much, I can remember us just sitting on this balcony here and thinking oh god, this is good. It was July, a really nice sunny day, and we just thought oh no, this is, this is good.

Asia and Duncan, Brettenham Road

Comments (1)

  1. Annie

    i was brought back from Cardiff to live with my Nan and Granddad in Carr Road, overlooking the park. They used to have grand parties there, in the front room, with someone playing their piano and sing sings. Everyone was ‘Auntie’ or ‘Uncle.’. Neighbours were always so friendly & we stayed in touch with, ‘Uncle Bill’ and ‘Auntie Ivy’ until they died.
    Their toilet was off the kitchen & their bath was in the corner, with a big board across it and stuff piled high. I don’t know when the bath was put in, but I do remember having to get all of the stuff off of it!
    When Mum remarried, we moved to Brettenham Road, where my sister was born. It was downstairs, along the park side. There we had a tin bath, kept outside until it was used. There neighbour’s were Mr & Mrs, though we still kept in touch.
    At about -10/11, I had Scarlet Fever and was isolated from my brother and sister. When we moved to Ardleigh Road, I was pushed around in a wheelbarrow.
    There were no electric points for mum to put her iron into. She would have to do it in the daytime and plug it into the light socket!
    My mum was so excited to get a house, that she took it without consulting my step dad. He wasn’t best pleased since all of the labour was down to him. He came to love that house.
    When my nan was run over, she was moved to a smaller downstairs flat, in the middle of Carr Road, on the other side of the road.
    On marrying, we rented a flat in Blythe Road. By chance, my sister-in-law was also from that road & my cousin, had also lived there, though I didn’t find that out until more recently. The interviews we had to go through to ensure we qualified. When we bought the flat, my mum was so angry. After all, renting with Warners was secure.
    When I could afford it, I moved back to Douglas Avenue & later still to Monoux Grove, only moving out to the countryside, aged 50.
    I always felt so safe on ‘my estate’. I didn’t ever worry about being hurt, or about anything bad happening to me.