Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Playing catch up

It's an age since I lasted posted a Parkviews 'blog'. I have posted some entries to my Crocus Gallery and West End Bowlers blogs, but the past six weeks or so have just flown by. So I have decided to play  'catch up' and post a few pics from my travels, beginning with a view of where my Auntie Nannie and some cousins live in Harlow, Essex.
It may not look a lot, but my Uncle Dave, who died a few years ago, and Nannie went to Harlow in the early-1950s where he was involved, as a plumber and sanitary engineer, in helping to build what was then 'Harlow New Town'. One of the first areas to be built was Brays Grove and this is where they were given a house. I used to go and stay with them during school holidays from about the age of nine until I was fifteen and started work. Looking back, I realise it was to give my Nanna a break from me. She looked after me for nearly all my childhood, but she had badly ulcerated legs. Nanna died when I was fifteen, a few months after I had started work, but that's another story.

I first saw this small green with houses around three sides and a three-story block of flats on the fourth side nearly sixty years ago. The trees in this pic were merely sticks then. Nannie and Dave were a great influence on me, by example. They were both active in the Labour Party and both served as Labour councillors in Harlow. In addition, Dave was an active trade unionist all his life. And, as a matter of principle, they chose not to buy their council house. Not having easy access to car, we do not see Nannie and Co as often as would like, so it was a real pleasure to spend a day with them at the beginning of the month. We put the world to rights and reminiscenced about long gone relatives and others we had not seen for ages.

Altogether, a memorable day, but one topic came up which seems to be universal — wheelie bins! The houses in the pic were built with a large storage cupboard in the front elevation which could take a dustbin. Now, of course, there are three wheelie bins to each house (general household waste, garden waste and recycling material), so at least two bins have to be left outside the houses. Once our street scenes would have had children. Now they have wheelie bins.

Britain's leading independent tax experts today flatly rejected the coalition government's claims to have shielded poor families from five years of austerity when they described Georg Osborne's emergency budget as "clearly regressive".

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