A description of the people who moved into the Saffron Lane Estate
Saffron Lane, course I was still an apprentice there, and the people
that came up to live there, they came from Friday Street, and St
Margaret's, came from St Margaret's Church, and they were the salt
of the earth, you know. Now they didn't understand anything about
living in new houses. You know, coming from... Friday Street was
the slums in those days. I mean, where they were, there'd perhaps
be about half a dozen houses and one toilet outside, and when they
got up to Saffron Lane they'd got a toilet and a bathroom, and they
didn't know how to live, see?
Another thing that they were a bit, upset them a lot, was the
fact, they didn't know how to cater, because living at the bottom
of Churchgate, if they wanted anything they'd nip up the market,
daily. And of course when they got up there, Saffron Lane, they
didn't know, there were only one or two little shops up there then
in the 1920s, and of course they were flummoxed.
And now when we did those houses, after six months, for the first
six months if there were anything went wrong with them, then different
contractors had to put them right you see. I can remember going
in one house where there were no pictures but they'd took the lavatory
seat off and put on the wall, and put a photograph of the King and
Queen in. I saw that you know, 'cos it was the King and Queen then,
1920s. But as regards to being good hearted, you wouldn't have found
a better lot of people, not in Leicester. Because I worked on some
biggish houses for a couple of years as a lad, and I mean there
the atmosphere of, 'Oh, you're only the painter', you know, but
there (Saffron Lane) you were one of them.
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This sound clip has been taken from the Leicester Oral History
Archive recording 'Housing the People', EMOHA accession number 397,
collection number LO/017/C17.
Estate and Park