Category Archives: housing

No good deed goes unpunished: Hackney 1968

One of my most horrifying experiences came about when I was called out to a routine job. I was told to replace a cast iron rain water pipe, at Lea View House in the Clapton area of Hackney. I pulled … Continue reading

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A start a middle and an end

I’ll start this story in a tenants association hall in Myrtle Road, Harold Hill. I used the small bar for a pint or two in the 1980s when I heard that the chair had decided to resign. I put my … Continue reading

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The victims of Austerity are children

Last week (end-June 2019) I tuned into radio 4 at 7am. I wasn’t paying too much attention, until I heard the report of a boy in school who’d fainted in school, when he got there on Monday morning. It transpired … Continue reading

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Not everyone is middle-class with assets

Rachel and Jack1 are in their late thirties, with two young children. Both are immature but have worked hard on their relationship. Jack’s a self-employed window cleaner, odd job man, labourer and gardener. He’s hardly ever in steady full time … Continue reading

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A Beautiful New Council Development

A new build housing development Who, could deny, the need But, as in these multi-pound deals Might there be, an element of greed? Cram it dense, build it high Blot the landscape, the rich will buy But first, destroy the … Continue reading

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The defeat of cholera

New epidemic diseases are always terrifying.1 Cholera arrived in Britain in 1832 when Britain didn’t have a medical-scientific infrastructure to cope. Favoured explanations for cholera were Miasma, (roughly, ‘bad air’), moral turpitude and God’s anger. Victorian Britain’s rationalists looked for … Continue reading

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Housing upgrades, repairs and creative tension

In the winter of 1969, I and five other tradesmen were directed to work in a derelict house in Rushmore Road Hackney. Two stories high it had two bedrooms, a large living room and a  brick back edition. There was … Continue reading

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