Here’s an interesting query from Laura Masters at Walsall Housing Group which I’m hoping readers may be able to help with. They’re after historical photos of the Beechdale Estate between Bloxwich and Walsall, and although it’s a bit off our patch, I’m hoping some of the regulars with interests that way out can help.
At whg we’re working on a publication about the history of social housing in Walsall and we could do with your help please. You can see more about the publication here.
We’ve been working with Walsall History Centre to put together a timeline of photos, but we’re one short. We need a photo of houses on the Beechdale estate in the 1960s and we’re struggling to find one in the correct era. We’ve spoken to Beechdale Community Housing and they can’t help either.
I know you have displayed a great collection of photos on your blog and also have some great contacts in the area regarding its local history, so were wondering if you could possibly help us?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Walsall’s biggest landlord whg is celebrating its tenth birthday with a look back at the social history of the area and its homes.
To celebrate the milestone, whg launched a research project looking at the role of social housing and the borough’s changing housing needs. The result is a new publication focussing on the life of customer Jack Haddock, one of the very first council tenants in Walsall. The research into housing need will also be used in future planning applications and spending decisions by the housing provider.
Jack, who was born in 1927, has lived in Webster Road all his life. His house is one of the first council houses built by Walsall Council at a cost of £295 and the weekly rent paid by his father was 7s11d.
The keen historian and former lorry driver and RAF serviceman, said: “I have many fond memories of the steam trains rolling past my house and used to spend my childhood collecting bus and train numbers.
“It wasn’t always rosy though, and I remember the bus depot bombing and many a cold night in the Anderson Shelter in my garden – which is now used as my shed!
“As a historian I’m delighted that whg has taken the time to uncover a previously unrecorded part of Walsall’s past.”
Jack’s house has seen a number of improvements through the decades including the fitting of an upstairs bathroom and rewiring in the 1980s and a complete upgrade as part of whg’s Decent Homes improvement programme in the 2000s.
Gary Fulford, whg’s chief executive, said: “It seemed fitting that we use our anniversary to look at lessons learnt as a means of influencing the things we do as a landlord in the future.
“It’s been a busy and successful ride over the last ten years, with key highlights being achieving the Decent Homes Standard two years ahead of Government expectations, building more than 500 homes despite a tough economic climate, becoming a national leader in community safety being the first landlord in the UK to deliver the Community Energy Saving Programme and bringing all colleagues under one roof at our new office.
“The challenge we face now, which will be outlined in our new corporate plan, is to build on this strong start. With plans afoot to build 400 homes in the next two years, we’ve no plans to slow down our growth.
“Thank you to all our former and current board members, involved customers and colleagues for all your work over the last ten years and to Jack for sharing his story.”