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A description of the slums people moved out of.

[Sound clip on slums]
2.31 min

It was really terrible, I mean you always, you paid for what you could get but it used to be that damp paper come off, and the floors were all uneven and if you put lino down - which we couldn't afford carpet - that used to break because the floor was so uneven. Dark. Our kiddies were always ill weren't they when, through the dampness. And then they had chimneys what were, used to smoke. Sometimes we slept in one room, sometimes the other, because all depends which way the wind went, you know, because of the fumes coming into the room.

And don't forget the cockroaches.

Oh yeah.

Oh yeah, absolutely infested with them, all those houses around there.

Because we had a big factory next door didn't we, and they used to come from there.

And there used to be rats in that factory too, because you could see them, you know, from where we lived. There was a, this factory had a basement, and they had a sort of iron grill into the basement and you could actually see the rats, you know, going backwards and forward. In fact sometimes the cat used to catch them and lay them in the yard there you know and be right proud of its catch

Interviewer: What street did you live in?

Brierly Street, that's just off Taylor Street, Brierly Street, yeah.

The coalhouse was inside as well weren't it?

Coalhouse, yes.

'Cos you used to have coal, you know, fire, and that used to be inbetween the two rooms weren't it, passage way leads from the front door right through.

Back under the stairs, you know, that was the coal - can you imagine a coal place in the house, you know, the dust and so on.

It was like heaven. When we came up here it was raining, really a terrible day when we moved into here. And there was no pavements, it were thick mud and everything but it was like heaven when we got in here. We hadn't got a lot of furniture and that, but what a difference, you know, it was warmer, all lovely house, and oh dear, yeah, made a lot of difference.

Electric points and so on...

To have a bath where you could just turn the water on, that was everything, we hadn't got to fetch buckets of water into the kitchen, fill this big copper up, light the copper, and everytime I went washing I had to do that, take it back into the yard and rinse them under the tap in the yard, one of the old mangles to mangle them out.

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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.



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Last updated: 16/1/04
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