South Tyneside Council celebrates 100 years of council housing memories

Residents are being invited to take a trip down memory lane as part of South Tyneside Council’s celebration of 100 years of council housing.

By Sian Cripps
Thursday, 25 July, 2019, 12:56
The Word, National Centre for the Written Word

This month marks the centenary of the Addison Act, which paved the way for council housebuilding on a large scale.

The Act was brought in at the end of World War One to address the housing shortage and build ‘habitations fit for the heroes who have won the war’.

In South Tyneside, this started with Cleadon Park, which was built in the 1920s to help working class people out of the slums and into good quality homes.

To celebrate this and subsequent developments in the Borough, a free event and exhibition will be hosted at The Word on July 31, featuring historic photos, videos and real-life stories which draw on residents’ memories. It will also include children’s activities, giveaways, competitions and free refreshments.

There will also be an exhibition at The Word from January to March next year documenting 100 years of council housing which will display artwork from schoolchildren in the Borough who have been asked to draw houses from the past and future.

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Cllr Mark Walsh, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: “Work was already underway in South Tyneside to clear the disease-ridden slums that dominated the riverside area, but the Act made the construction of thousands of council houses possible.

“The provision of affordable, decent quality housing is a vital safety net in society, particularly in areas with high deprivation.

“The Act enabled working class families in the Borough to offer their children a better start and decent quality of life, as well as instilling a sense of pride.

“This event will celebrate and acknowledge just how important the Act was, on both a national and local level, and we’d love people to come along, share their memories and mark the anniversary with us.”

By 1932, 1,528 family homes had been built in Cleadon Park, and following a cessation during the Second World War, development resumed at Horsley Hill, Marsden and elsewhere in the Borough, culminating in the construction of Hebburn New Town in the 1980s.