He accepted the Hartlepool nuclear power station job in November ‘73, with enthusiasm. In similar fashion, the GLC said they’d buy our named-for-a-race-horse Enfield house. We paid a flying visit and chose a new one. Then followed much disruption, separation, until May when the GLC discovered it had run out of money.
Another visit, an instant, gut-chose house; me holding the on-site saleswoman hostage for the day to make sure she sold it to no other.
At the end of June, me Essex-born, him a Londoner, we moved North, to where, among many other commiserations, we’d been told, they not only hang monkeys but eat their babies.
He designated a key-worker so while the paperwork went through we were council-housed.
Moved in, a language barrier. Not only accent but words. My London ‘dustman’ morphed to ‘binman’ and the intended to be helpful “bimmen cum toodee” impenetrable.
July 25th we – him and me and two toddlers – moved into a brand new house with views across the Tees all the way to Roseberry Topping; the Cleveland and the Eston Hill, and while we can no longer see the river for the trees and I regret I never fully mastered the language I can’t say I ever anticipated staying here forever, but we did.
And I do know how wonderfully lucky we were to have made that decision to come north.
Submitted by Sandra Davies, 73, Stockton-on-Tees