Wednesday, 8 April 2015
I remember my first home......
Nissan hut, that's what these little buildings were called. Larger ones were barracks I think or some other use as they were quick and cheap to erect with just a brick front and back and corrugated tin bolted on over the top.
Smaller ones were used as temporary accommodation post 2nd world war.....my parents were eventually rehoused after 15 years in one of these so not as temporary as they were led to believe. This isn't a photo of our house as it looks like open countryside and we were in very built up London's East End.
I remember our street had about eight of these down one side with very little front gardens and a wooden picket fence with a front gate to separate them. Behind each one was the outside toilet. Inside was front door straight into the lounge with a kitchen area at one end and two doors into the bedrooms. We either used the tin bath in front of the fire or we had to visit the public baths (which I hated).
I can remember with a shudder how we were so scared of hail storms because of the noise made on a tin roof which was like being under attack. It also felt like living in an oven during hot summers.
By the time I was six years old there were seven of us living in this small two bedroom hut. Parents and our clothes storage in one bedroom and us four girls in the other bedroom and our new baby brother spending nights still in his pram in the lounge area.
To fit four beds into our room there were two singles and bunk beds. If you slept in the top bunk you could look through the crack in the door and watch tv so we organised ourselves into a weekly bed swap. Often the week after top bunk meant suffering conjuctivitis for a few days which seemed a fair trade off 😉 When I had chickenpox mum banned bed swapping as the sheets were getting covered in calamine lotion, so I got two weeks in the top bunk and loved it hahaha
I can remember the rehousing started at the other end of the road and as each hut emptied it was demolished until eventually we were the last one left and travellers had moved onto the waste land in their caravans and a few times we found a stranger using our outside toilet.
We were so excited when we were given a four bedroom house and I can remember my sisters and I moving our belongings one box at a time on the back of our three-wheel bike. Can't remember furniture moving day but I guess there was a van. Lovely to see our little baby brother having a cot to sleep in.
I'm the little curly one in the romper suit nearly two years old.