After my mum and dad got married, from Diana Road, she became quite ill with pneumonia, so within six weeks of them moving in here my nan was here, and I’ve always known my nan to be living with us. So as I say that was her room, we had to knock. And she was allowed in the lounge for Sunday tea, Sundays were like, we were all together, but she had her own little- you know she worked, and she had her own little room. That room is so little, I call it my caravan bedroom. But my nan had a bed, settee, table, television, she was fine.
I remember going in my nan’s room more than anything, because my nan had a really old high iron bed, and you felt safe and secure in there, and that was a special place, if you were allowed to sit on her bed and watch television with her, that was really good. And seeing her friend, she had a friend called Mrs Whitehead, and she used to come round on a Saturday, and they used to have a couple of bottles of Guinness, and watch the wrestling on a black and white television. Just being allowed to be with my nan, watching that, it was like, that was really lovely.
Sue, Cornwallis Road
R: When we first moved in and I decided to take all the wallpapers off because it was you know those woodchips inside the wallpaper, and there were parts that were there, and parts that were gone, and it just looked so horrible so I decided to take it all off. We decided to strip the wallpaper but when we did we found that the plasterboards were coming off, so we had to replaster the rooms. Even after replastering the room where we are, the master bedroom, our bedroom, it just looked very dark, and I couldn’t believe it because as I said it was the light that inspired me to buy the house, and it was just so dark, I said I don’t think we can live in this room, so I decided to paint it a very warm colour called Indian Rose, and the room just came alive. So we are living in there, we put our bed in there and it looks really wonderful.
K: Actually everyone is living in there, she has a room which she’ll sleep in for part of the night, Isaa has a cot in the same room but he will join the bed. Musa is the only one who won’t get out and come into our bed. So at some points it’s five in the bed, normally when we wake up it’s four in the bed.
Rezia and Khaled, Elphinstone Road
I gave birth in what would have been the parlour, so our bedroom. Which felt… it was really interesting because I’ve always felt the connection with the flat, I don’t feel like it’s just walls, I do feel like there is a connection, and I think that’s very special to a Warner flat. I think they come with a personality of their own, and I felt through being pregnant that I was getting this connection with women who lived here before, and I was always trying to work out, what time in years, when did women start going to hospital or having their babies at home, and giving birth here was pretty special. I don’t think it would have been the same just in a normal flat, I did feel… I’m not that spiritual but I did feel like I had all these women’s energies around me. Now I feel very protective over my home, this is my family home, I am the mother figure, and someone else was that before me, and before me, and before me, and it was like they were all here at that time, supporting me, and I felt such an amazing confidence, that of course I could do this, so many others have done this before me, here, in my home, and yes I was going to bring it back to them, I get really emotional, I just felt brilliant, like I was giving them… they.. they kept this flat for me, and I was giving something back, bringing home the baby. I felt it was right to do it here, and even my neighbours were supporting me, they knew it was going to happen, I posted through my downstairs neighbour and I told my friends around me because of my daughter, so that they could take care of her if necessary, so I felt like I was in this.. like Seymour Road was behind me. It’s silly, but I felt like the road was behind me and I was bringing this home. I don’t know how many babies have been born here recently, but I guess not many, given the statistics are so low in Walthamstow, so I felt I had them behind me and it worked really well. It just felt amazing, it felt absolutely amazing and I do feel since it happened that it will be hard to move on, which we will have to eventually, because as much as you change the walls, the flat doesn’t grow, so we will have to eventually but it will be tricky, because it was where he was born.
Marta, Seymour Road