Metropolitan resident on the home she has lived in for 80 years
18 September 2017
| Housing | News | Events
To mark #HousingDay 2017, Metropolitan resident May from Nottinghamshire shares some of her memories of living under the same roof for 80 years.
#HousingDay is an annual social media event to celebrate the positive impact that social housing has in the UK. This year’s theme is ‘true people – real stories’.
When May, 91, first moved into her home in the village of East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, she was 12 years old. Her mother paid a weekly rent of nine shillings and 11 pence, after putting down a deposit of 10 shillings – and May has maintained the original handwritten rent books in pristine condition to remind her of times gone by.
She says: “I was one of seven brothers and sisters living in a two-bedroom flat with our mother in another part of the village. As you can imagine, it was a bit cramped, so that’s how we came to get this house from the local district council. We were lucky to get a new home, as in those days this type of house was mainly for farm labourers working nearby.
“Things were very different at that time. The street was just a cart track and we used to watch the cows coming past on their way to the farm at the end. There were ducks and geese and no cars or street lights. It was a close community; we would walk to school and leave our doors unlocked when we went out.”
Since 1937, May’s home has seen some dramatic changes. She recalls long-gone open fireplaces, a kitchen stove and an outdoor toilet – all in contrast to the modernised home she lives in today.
After her mother died, May stayed in the house with her brothers and sisters, and looked after her brothers when they returned from the Second World War. Throughout the years, she’s collected endless treasured memories within her home’s four walls. Her favourite is of a Christmas celebration one year when 24 visiting members of her family crammed into her modestly-sized front room.
May worked as a tailor and had various jobs at the local Royal Air Force base for 40 years before retiring aged 60.
The house may have seen many changes since she first moved there in 1937, but with a regular flow of visitors over the years, its importance as a warm and comfortable home has endured.