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Residents tell their stories of living in cramped communal housing in the first half of the 20th century, the demolitions and relocations of the 1960s and the grassroots activism which brought about housing reforms in the area.

Andy Watson

Andy discusses increasing house prices and changes in the market.

Eddie O’Reilly

Eddie is the eldest of three siblings to Irish parents who came to the area during WWII. He describes living in the Paddington area in the 1950’s and 60’s. 


Eddie talks about his family’s overcrowded living conditions, having no electricity, and sharing toilet facilities with other families

Gwith Burchill

Gwith explains the nature of landlord and renter relationships at the time. He recalls there being a large squatting community.

John Phillips

John discusses the large number of empty houses, due to working class community’s inability to afford rising rent prices. He mentions how this lead to the first major event in selling social housing.

Lucille Hayes

Lucille moved to the newly built Warwick Estate in 1963, when she was 11 years old. She has happy memories of seeing the blocks being constructed and the area gradually developing. 


Lucille recalls seeing the building of new housing and children’s playground over an old bomb site.

Susan Niddler

Sue has lived on the Warwick Estate for most of her life. Her previous home on Torquay Street, where four generations of her family lived between 1901 and 1963, was demolished to allow construction to begin on the Westway.  


Sue talks about how everyone she knew in the immediate area lost their homes.

Tony Grey

Tony was born in 1948 and moved to Lord Hills Road as a baby. Tony attended Edward Wilson Primary School on Senior Street and would play in the local roads with other so-called ‘latchkey kids’.   


Tony recalls how his family all lived in one room, measuring around 20 feet by 15 feet (6 metres x 4.5 metres)

“It is most necessary to avoid rusticity in any way, whether in material, design, or execution.”

George Edmund Street