In Ryton the Kiwis wouldn’t know if I was telling the truth so I am sending it on to the memory group so you can hold me to account. This is what I wrote.
It looks like they are having similar housing problems as we are – not enough houses.
I started work in the building industry 70 years ago.
When the war finished there was an enormous mess to clean up from one end of the country to the other with millions of people needing to be rehoused by a building industry starting off again from scratch and nearly all the tradesmen were still in the armed services, but houses had to be built. To add to the problem, it was decided to pull down all the old streets in the big industrial cities that were still standing. An enormous problem.
As soon as the tradesmen were demobbed, they started by building council houses all over the place. The first council houses built in Crawcrook/Ryton was Parkfield where Anne and I lived. The war finished in 1945 and the people started moving into the houses in Parkfield in 1948.
The garage was built after we left but everything else is the same. They are well built 3-bedroom houses with 2 big rooms downstairs. There were 2-bedroom houses as well. For the whole estate there were only 2 plans, and this is what makes the difference between there and here in NZ. Estates like this were built everywhere. My old school mate Jack Kelly moved into Parkfield in 1948 and he still lives there. Most of these houses are privately owned now.
The local authorities built them and as time went on, they sold them off, they wouldn’t have got anywhere if they had left it to private enterprise. For some reason over here in NZ every house must be different making the overall time of building each house and the cost, absolutely ridiculous.