A description of the slums people moved out of.
That's, I think it's still in existence today, the Taylor Street
school is still there anyway, but our house where we lived, that's
been demolished years ago. So that was a slum, no question about
it, it was a slum. There was about six houses in a yard, and they
had two toilets, outside toilets to be shared by the six tenants,
and then there was one tap, one cold water tap in the middle of
the yard, there was no other water at all in the houses. And they
were slums, no question about it. And anybody would be very hard
put to try and improve them, which we did against all sorts of odds.
I remember at that time of day someone used to come round to your
house from the housing department and see whether or not you were
a fit person to have a council house, you know, apart from other
qualifications that you had to have. I remember one coming round
in particular when we'd been, we'd hoped to be approved by the city
council, and I'd painted the mantlepiece in the house and this young
lady, you know, then, she wanted to go up the stairs and she actually
brushed against this mantlepiece and there was paint all over her
But people did try ever so hard to try and make their surroundings
better. Painting for instance, you know, mind you at that time of
day your choice wasn't very, you didn't have a very good choice
beacuse it was just after the war and it was very hard to get various
things, you know, I mean for instance the furniture, there was only
one sort of furniture and that was called utility furniture, and
it was the really bare minimum of comfort, you know, and it wasn't
very nice to look at either, and then of course the wallpapers were
only just coming back then.
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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