HA learns its history from seven-decade tenant
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
A housing association has enjoyed learning about the history of some of its properties from one of its eldest and longest-standing tenants.
Enid Cottis and her husband Bert moved into the cottage, near Canewdon, a year after the Second World War ended.
Nearly 68 years later, now aged 93, Enid is still enjoying the house that she calls home.
Enid told landlord Rochford Housing Association that she and her husband struggled to find their own home initially. She said: “We had to stay at my mother’s for a while because we didn’t have anywhere of our own.”
The couple then found Lambourne Mead Cottages, built for agricultural workers on an adjoining farm. Although Bert was trained in electrics he took a job on the farm so they could live in one of the newly built cottages.
“There were six houses, all of them built for the labourers that used to work on the farm, and although they were small, they were perfect for us. They were only built the year before we moved into them,” Enid explained.
Their two children, Barry and Brian, were raised in the house and Enid has many happy memories of them enjoying the fields nearby and being able to push them to school on their bikes.
Around this time in the 50s, the rent for Enid’s home was 15 shillings and sixpence.
In 2007, Rochford Housing Association took over the management of the cottages from the council.
Enid’s tenancy, which is nearly 70 years old, is the longest tenancy the housing association has ever inherited from the council.
Enid said: “I love the house and I love the garden. It’s a lovely place to live. Nearly everything in my life has happened to me while I’ve been living in this house.
“I love watching quizzes on the television to keep my brain ticking over, and I still go shopping in Southend and on the bus to see my sister in Rayleigh."
Rochford Housing Association is part of Sanctuary Group and manages around 1,900 properties in the Rochford area.