Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Step back in time


On Housing Day I wanted to share this with you.

In 1915 our predecessors in the Boldon branch of the Association were proud to unveil a new development of bungalows for retired mineworkers at Marsden Road, South Shields.

It was ahead of its time, with internal baths and toilets provided decades before such amenities became commonplace elsewhere.

This year we have been honoured to work with Beamish Museum – the living museum of the North of England - who are replicating a block of these homes as part of a new visitor attraction in their ongoing project to portray the history of the region.

The plan is to effectively re-build four of our bungalows as part of a new 1950s town attraction. Two of the replicated homes would host pioneering sessions for people living with dementia, older people, and their families and carers - building on acclaimed work already done by the museum.

We are flattered and delighted to have been approached to help with the project and it will be fantastic to see some of our properties replicated at the Museum. It is even more pleasing that our own residents have been consulted about the project and much of their feedback will be incorporated as part of the scheme.

We have many residents who will remember what it was like living in the 1950s, or perhaps there are people who have been handed down objects from this decade, so as well as having our homes at the Museum it will also be great for the memories and mementos of our residents and their families to be part of this fantastic project.

We are incredibly proud that the farsightedness of our predecessors is being recognised in this way and that the contribution our homes have made and continue to make to the wellbeing of the people of the coalfield communities in the North East of England is so valued.

We are even more proud, however, that such achievements are not mere relics of the past.  Our Marsden Road homes, along with many properties, have been modernised over the years and continue to be enjoyed and valued by residents to this day, and the tradition of innovation and quality that was set by their builders all those years ago in the early years of the 20th century is maintained today in the 21st.

I will of course, continue to keep you update, via the blog, on the progress of the scheme.

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