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Talking about forming the tenants' association at Braunstone.

[Sound clip on tenants' association]
3.35 min

We finally got permission to go live at the Braunstone Estate. I think one of the primary considerations by the housing committee was the fact that I was a skilled woodworker and they anticipated that I would be able to afford to pay the rents, which were fairly high in those days. But the conditions on the Braunstone Estate were such that we formed a tenants' association, and when you realise that there was no made up road, no transport, no shops, no schools, and it was just like living in houses in the wilderness. And we formed the association and started to raise organisations to deal with the situation. The people we first attacked was the housing committee for the high rents, and then the rest of the city council of that time for the absence of made up roads, no buses, no schools, no shops, and we were completely isolated. But ultimately, as a result of our organisation, we did manage to get the council to accept their responsibilities over a number of years, and we maintained our organisation to deal with all sorts of problems, particularly including rent increases, right until the commencement of the Second World War.

I remember we were very busy organising the tenants on the Western Park side of it, and we used to charge two shillings a year and we used to collect it at sixpence a quarter, and I remember that I used to go out collecting most Sunday mornings. Sixpence a quarter for their subscription, and then often of course we got all the problems which they were concerned with, so that we had to try and do our best to eliminate many of the hardships that were being created by the failure of the local authority, and the government at that time, to give any consideration to the environment in which we were living in.

As far as the houses themselves were concerned, although there was no luxury about them, by the conditions that operated in housing generally at that time we felt we were in rather elite types of houses. And of course we had gardens, and as was the philosophy of working people in those days, they took a great deal of pride in maintaining both the houses and the gardens and we were very proud of them because they were far in advance of most of the houses that we had been living in and been born and bred in, so that we did appreciate the improvements which had taken place.

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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

Braunstone Village


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Last updated: 16/1/04
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