A very busy household

Though the houses were built with the intention of relieving overcrowding in inner London, the number of rooms available and the size of them still meant that families were crammed together.  Brothers and sisters sometimes had to share a room even in teenage years, while just finding the space to sit and eat together could be difficult.

I think with the bedrooms, we had one large room, a medium-size and a small one. My eldest brother had the small room and we girls shared the big room.  We had various beds at one time, you know, single beds and they didn't fit and so on. In the end, we four girls slept in one bed which sounds awful these days, but  that's the way it was and I can remember giggling and chatting half the night - well it seemed like half the night, and my parents shouting up to be quiet and go to sleep. We were kicking each other and that kind of thing children do. (Doreen O'Halloran née Hayden)

The one-stop transit camp

People who had grown-up on St. Helier were not allowed to apply for a house there.

By the 1950s, many young married couples were living with their parents on St. Helier.  This was brought about because of the acute post-war housing shortage and the fact that the LCC would only allot the estate houses to people who had come from inner London.  Those children who had grown up on St. Helier and looked upon it as their 'home town' were not allowed to take on a property there.  This could eventually lead to three generations living in one house.

In 1963, St. Peter's parish newspaper, The St. Helier Herald, started a campaign to persuade the Council to allow families to stay together on the estate.  They labelled St. Helier as a the 'One generation transit camp', and questions were even asked in Parliament about the problem.

Three generations in one house

Sharon Smith remembers

Not enough bedrooms

Rosemary Turner remembers

The St. Helier Herald campaign in the 1963

Roger Royle, who was curate at St. Peter's, remembers

Photo:Residents of Wigmore Road, 1950s

Residents of Wigmore Road, 1950s

Sutton Local Studies and Archives

This page was added by Cheryl Bailey on 12/08/2010.

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