Thursday, February 02, 2012

Squatters & squatting in Burscough West Lancashire Video interview with Ormskirk resident Mary Wright

Squatters and squatting in Burscough West Lancashire Video interview with Ormskirk resident Mary Wright

In a video interview, life time resident of West Lancashire, Mary Wright (no relation to local Life In Another Town blogger Matthew J Wright), gives a first hand account of living as a squatter on the Royal Navy Air Station HMS Ringtail, Burscough, West Lancashire following World War II.

Memorial Plaque, RNAS Burscough, H.M.S. Ringtail.  (photo by Graham Crisp)

Mary recalls how as a young child, her Mother and Father moved back down from Glasgow, where she had been born, to Burscough; the village where her Father had grown up.

The Nissen huts, which once served as accommodation for Naval personnel, would now serve, for the next several years, as badly needed housing for local families.

To see photos of the Burscough airfield visit the website Airfield Information Exchange

To illustrate how the squatting became a local issue, there appeared on the 26th June 1947, in the Ormskirk Advertiser newspaper ,a short notice of a meeting by the Housing Committee of Ormskirk Urban District Council;

At the meeting of the Housing Committee of Ormskirk Urban District Council, the minutes of which were confirmed at Monday night's meeting of the Council, the clerk (Mr. Jos. Taylor) reported that a number of people had moved into huts on the portion of No.1 Camp R.N.A.S Burscough, which was not under the Council's control; and that he had written to the Ministry of Health on the Matter.

The Committee decided that no further action be taken except for sanitary reasons, nor rents collected pending the Ministry's reply.

It was pointed out that the fact that these people were not paying rent was making it increasingly difficult to collect rent from the area of the Camp adjoining which was under the Council's control.

The clerk was instructed to bring these difficulties to the attention of the Ministry and press for an early reply to the previous mentioned letter.

During the interview Mary Wright tells how her Father and his family had worked the barges on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, she talks about long gone local factories and businesses she worked in while growing up, the advent of the new housing estates in Ormskirk, through to today and the experience, some local residents have had of the rapid expansion of Edge Hill University in recent years and the accompanying growth of student residents in the old market town.

The video interview records a snippet of oral history. It recounts a period of Post-War West Lancashire history, which in years to come will pass to future generations, not by word of mouth, but by solely being learned about via books or the Internet.

Do you have a story to tell about local history? Contact Life In Another Town and let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment