Friday, 30 December 2016

One hundred years of one house in Chorlton part 75 ...... the houses Joe built

The continuing story of the house Joe and Mary Ann Scott lived in for over 50 years and the families that have lived here since.*

Now Joe built good houses as many of his tenants testified and that of course extended to this house but it is his others that I want to reflect on.

His own was built in 1915 but already he had been building properties on Provis, Higson, Neale and Beech Roads and would on to build more on Beaumont and Belwood.

His earlier properties were the classic two up two down which can be found all over the country. My grandparents lived in one in Hope Street in Derby, and the first house I bought in Ashton-under-Lyne was a two up two down and at home in Woolwich there are still plenty of them.

You walked in from the street into the front room, the stairs were at the back in the kitchen and the lavatory was in the yard.

There were of course variations.

In the case of Nana’s the yard had once been a common one which contained three lavatories which were shared with an entry into the yard through a passageway from the street and in Ashton the variations stretched to a small vestibule behind the front door offering a little privacy.

But the variations were more to do with the individual builders, so in the case of Joe’s properties the staircase was at the front. That said there are only so many different ways of building a two up two down.

Like most of these properties Joe’s were built for rent and only in the 1960s did he begin to sell off some of the stock.

The great strength of the basic model is the way that it can be adapted.

As Andy Lever’s picture’s show many have over the years have had extensions.

Some were constructed of wood and glass, others of brick and in some cases the extension has included a second floor.

Internally rooms have been knocked together and lavatories and bathrooms added.

Now I am not sure whether Joe’s original design included a bathroom or inside lavatory and for that I shall have to ask Ida whose family have occupied the same house on Neale for over fifty years.

In the meantime I shall just reflect that people always spoke highly of Joe as a landlord, commenting that he always got repairs done quickly and offered a good deal when the houses were sold.

And given that he lived just round the corner he was pretty much instantly available in his office which was directly behind his house.

But like so many landlords he did economise on some things and according to Ian who lived on Higson all the doors were painted green.

There will be many who remember that office and yard which later became a TV repair place, later still a builder’s yard again and eventually became a house.

Not that Joe I think would have approved of the office’s final transformation given that it overlooks his old garden and lacks much of the charm of his properties.

Pictures; looking out on Joe’s old houses, 2016 from the collection of Andy Lever and Beaumont Road showing Joe Scott’s workshop, 1958, R E Stanley, m17662, a courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, 

*The story of house,

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