Walkley History

News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.

Moving to Kelvin Flats

Wales Rd and Kelvin  Flats early 1970s. Photo by Alan Philpotts

Wales Rd and Kelvin Flats early 1970s. Photo by Alan Philpotts

Sam Clarke talks about the people he knew who were rehoused in Kelvin Flats.

[audio http://audioboo.fm/boos/1470844-moving-to-kelvin-flats.mp3] Audio player for devices which don’t play Flash, such as iPad.

Q  So were they rehoused? How did that go? How did that work?

Mainly most of the rehousing was in the Kelvin.

Q Were people happy about that, or?  Not really because obviously they were flats.  Kelvin, obviously it’s been knocked down again so they weren’t, obviously it were just like a concrete jungle, really.  But that’s where most of the people went, that were rehoused.  

Q So are we talking about members of your family?

Members of my family they went into, I mean…I had one..two, yeah two families out of my family went into the Kelvin Flats. … And also one of the lads, my friend John he went in, his mum and dad went in to the Kelvin Flats as well.

Q How did they feel about being rehoused, generally?

Er, mmm, I don’t really know, they weren’t happy obviously because they lost all bit of the gardens they had and the freedom they had, obviously living up, high up in flats.  They weren’t used to it, simple as that, so it didn’t go down very well.

Q Did they feel that it broke up the community as well, that sort of thing?

Obviously yeah, it did, it broke all community up, yeah.  Because when they got rehoused they weren’t sort of next door neighbours to who they were next door neighbours when they were living…do y’know what I mean?

Q Did they think that they lived in somewhere that needed to be changed?  Were they unhappy with their housing conditions that much?

The housing conditions, the housing conditions well, the state of the houses weren’t good, to be honest.  They took a severe bashing from the gales in ’61, for one instance and there was quite a few back-to-back houses which really, for a family, they weren’t suitable.  And obviously, there were all outside toilets and there were some that even had to share an outside toilet.  If you lived in a back-to-back house you shared an outside toilet… which obviously well, the back-to-back were only one-up, one-down.  You couldn’t get, y’know you couldn’t get much of a family if you know what I mean.

Q How many people were living in each house?

I mean, there was a friend of mine, there used to be well, there were five in the family but one of the daughters used to have to live across road at an aunty’s.  But there were four of them, that lived in one house which, that were one-up, one down.  So obviously two slept upstairs, mother and father slept upstairs and two kids slept downstairs…on settee.

Sam Clarke, interviewed by Sarah Armstrong on 4th March 2013.


About Bill Bevan

Bill Bevan is an archaeologist, writer, photographer and heritage interpreter.

2 comments on “Moving to Kelvin Flats

  1. Pingback: Oral History Clips Online | Walkley History

  2. Pingback: Walkley Oral History Online | Walkley History

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This entry was posted on June 26, 2013 by in Slum Clearance.
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