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Ww2 Veterans Memories Of Getting A House

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I recently read a really nteresting book called The Unknown Warriors which is a collection of memories of the war from scores of WW2 veterans and also what they think of the UK now, not much by the sounds of it!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1409271749/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0VX7ZM2VXKC4JVSQ4F77&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467128533&pf_rd_i=468294

What is interesting is that quite a few veterans say what housing was like when they got back from 5 long years serving the country. As you can imagine, with huge amounts of housing damaged in the blitz, it was a pretty dire situation until the country could start building new homes for all the young people returning. They lived in one room with their families etc and some really struggled to get on their feet. Some even came back to find their family homes were a pile of rubble, imagine that after you have just spent 5 years in a POW camp.

In my own experience I can never ever recall my relatives from that generation mention anything about the value of their houses, perhaps they were just thankful they had a roof over their heads. From what I remember my granps bought his first house before the war 3 bed semi for £500 on one wage when he was about 26, anyone else got any examples of their family/friends from that era and their housing?

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What is interesting is that quite a few veterans say what housing was like when they got back from 5 long years serving the country. As you can imagine, with huge amounts of housing damaged in the blitz, it was a pretty dire situation until the country could start building new homes for all the young people returning. They lived in one room with their families etc and some really struggled to get on their feet. Some even came back to find their family homes were a pile of rubble, imagine that after you have just spent 5 years in a POW camp.

Interesting post; I like perspective.

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Guest The Relaxation Suite

I recently read a really nteresting book called The Unknown Warriors which is a collection of memories of the war from scores of WW2 veterans and also what they think of the UK now, not much by the sounds of it!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1409271749/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0VX7ZM2VXKC4JVSQ4F77&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467128533&pf_rd_i=468294

What is interesting is that quite a few veterans say what housing was like when they got back from 5 long years serving the country. As you can imagine, with huge amounts of housing damaged in the blitz, it was a pretty dire situation until the country could start building new homes for all the young people returning. They lived in one room with their families etc and some really struggled to get on their feet. Some even came back to find their family homes were a pile of rubble, imagine that after you have just spent 5 years in a POW camp.

In my own experience I can never ever recall my relatives from that generation mention anything about the value of their houses, perhaps they were just thankful they had a roof over their heads. From what I remember my granps bought his first house before the war 3 bed semi for £500 on one wage when he was about 26, anyone else got any examples of their family/friends from that era and their housing?

My grandfather never earnt a lot of money but was able to get a mortgage to buy a tiny farm, on one wage, and raise three kids. It wasn't his first house and it would have been in about the late 1940s. The same place sold three years ago and if I wanted to buy it I would have had to borrow 47 times my salary.

Edited by Tecumseh

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My grandfather never earnt a lot of money but was able to get a mortgage to buy a tiny farm, on one wage, and raise three kids. It wasn't his first house and it would have been in about the late 1940s. The same place sold three years ago and if I wanted to buy it I would have had to borrow 47 times my salary.

I prefer the UK now to what it was then.

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Born in '47, I lived with my mother and father, uncle and aunt, granparents, two cousins, in a three bed semi. In about '53 or 54 we moved into a council flat, my aunt and uncle and their family got a council (very well built too) house. My father desperately saved to buy, but it was the ill-wind of an industrial accident that gave him enough money in compensation to buy in 61, in spite of a steady reasonably paid industrial job.

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Guest The Relaxation Suite

I prefer the UK now to what it was then.

Deleted - my reply takes the thread in the wrong direction.

Edited by Tecumseh

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My father spent the war at Cranwell air base as an aircraft engineer keeping Spitfires etc in the air. He left the RAF in 1945 with £120 gratuity, and then worked for two years to raise a 10% mortgage deposit.

He bought a 3 bed semi in Chertsey, Surrey for £2100 in 1947. My mother never worked, and my parents raised two sons by being fairly careful on one income. Annual holiday camping in UK. Secondhand car and s/h bikes for kids. Kids never felt they had gone short of anything important.

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I have a story.

When my grandma left school at 14 in 1938, one week's worth of her wages packing soap in a factory paid for a month's worth of rent for her familiy's three-bed stone-built Victorian cottage. After the war, around 1948, her and my grandad rented the property next door and paid for it on the wages of my grandad who was a low paid immigrant manual worker.

They knocked these places down as "slums" in the 60s (backhanders between councillors and developers) but some still survive on that road and recently one went up for sale at £280K.

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My father spent the war at Cranwell air base as an aircraft engineer keeping Spitfires etc in the air. He left the RAF in 1945 with £120 gratuity, and then worked for two years to raise a 10% mortgage deposit.

He bought a 3 bed semi in Chertsey, Surrey for £2100 in 1947. My mother never worked, and my parents raised two sons by being fairly careful on one income. Annual holiday camping in UK. Secondhand car and s/h bikes for kids. Kids never felt they had gone short of anything important.

Interesting. £2100 in 1947 is the equivalent of £61,000 in 2009. Today on Rightmove 3 bed semis in Chertsey are selling for £390,000, £375,000, and £365,000. Can you imagine going on Rightmove today and seeing a nice 3 bed semi in Chertsey selling for £61,000? This is how people used to feel when buying houses. I suppose we must factor wages but were wages really six times smaller in 1947?

This is why young people are starting to riot.

Edited by Tecumseh

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I suppose we must factor wages but were wages really six times smaller in 1947?

No, they were six times smaller than today sometime in the later 1970s - round about halfway from 1947 to the present day.

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Interesting. £2100 in 1947 is the equivalent of £61,000 in 2009. Today on Rightmove 3 bed semis in Chertsey are selling for £390,000, £375,000, and £365,000. Can you imagine going on Rightmove today and seeing a nice 3 bed semi in Chertsey selling for £61,000? This is how people used to feel when buying houses. I suppose we must factor wages but were wages really six times smaller in 1947?

This is why young people are starting to riot.

Riot? A few not very intelligent students turn up in Trafalgar Sq and misbehave for a few hours.

If the Police wanted to move them on water cannon in these temperatures would have seen them all off in 10 mins.

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Riot? A few not very intelligent students turn up in Trafalgar Sq and misbehave for a few hours.

If the Police wanted to move them on water cannon in these temperatures would have seen them all off in 10 mins.

Running scared?

The mob will be down in Surrey soo, looking to extract retribution from bankers and their lackies

Avec baseball bats, pepper spray, knives and possibly guns too

Ready to defend your theft hardman?

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My parents bought a house at the end of the war.

I seem to remember a figure of £600. My father sold his motorbike and sidecar for the deposit - actually quite a sacrifice, since he was motorbike freak.

It was doable then on one income - but we didn't have transport again until my mother returned to work. In the neighbourhood, mums staying at home was the norm. Nobody bought anything on HP - it wasn't done. Savings went into the Post Office every week, the main focus for most people was saving for a holiday.

Working mums wasn't considered a great idea then. There was a phrase, 'latch-key kids' for those whose mums worked. They were the ones who got into trouble.

The only thing ever bought on credit was milk - that's because you paid the milkman at the end of the week.

Things I remember being expensive then were tellies - we had to wait a while for one - and clothes. Shoes were quite a big ticket item - but all leather and made in Northampton. A fur coat was the sort of thing people bought if they won the pools. And I can remember our school uniforms being a bit of bank breaker - there was a very long list of winter and summer wear, including daft stuff like a cap, house-team wear for sports and so on.

Basic food and accommodation was cheap, however. Really good food too. Maybe some of you can remember when fish was about the cheapest thing you could buy. Coley was something only the cat ate. And before joining the Common Market, the butcher gave you something like breast of lamb for the dogs. Bread came warm from the local bakery. Marge was only for cooking. It was possible to live quite well and to save on a very average salary, without any tax credits. Both my parents had lunch at work in staff canteens, in the days when employee loyalty was rewarded and encouraged.

My parents never had a credit card in their lives and, when I grew up, no one talked about their mortgage or 'the ladder'. There was no such concept. In fact, talking about what money you had or didn't have was considered the height of vulgarity. Those really were the good old, debt-free days.

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My parents bought a house at the end of the war.

I seem to remember a figure of £600. My father sold his motorbike and sidecar for the deposit - actually quite a sacrifice, since he was motorbike freak.

It was doable then on one income - but we didn't have transport again until my mother returned to work. In the neighbourhood, mums staying at home was the norm. Nobody bought anything on HP - it wasn't done. Savings went into the Post Office every week, the main focus for most people was saving for a holiday.

Working mums wasn't considered a great idea then. There was a phrase, 'latch-key kids' for those whose mums worked. They were the ones who got into trouble.

The only thing ever bought on credit was milk - that's because you paid the milkman at the end of the week.

Things I remember being expensive then were tellies - we had to wait a while for one - and clothes. Shoes were quite a big ticket item - but all leather and made in Northampton. A fur coat was the sort of thing people bought if they won the pools. And I can remember our school uniforms being a bit of bank breaker - there was a very long list of winter and summer wear, including daft stuff like a cap, house-team wear for sports and so on.

Basic food and accommodation was cheap, however. Really good food too. Maybe some of you can remember when fish was about the cheapest thing you could buy. Coley was something only the cat ate. And before joining the Common Market, the butcher gave you something like breast of lamb for the dogs. Bread came warm from the local bakery. Marge was only for cooking. It was possible to live quite well and to save on a very average salary, without any tax credits. Both my parents had lunch at work in staff canteens, in the days when employee loyalty was rewarded and encouraged.

My parents never had a credit card in their lives and, when I grew up, no one talked about their mortgage or 'the ladder'. There was no such concept. In fact, talking about what money you had or didn't have was considered the height of vulgarity. Those really were the good old, debt-free days.

What backwards little England thinking, we need ever elastic growth; a debt based monetary system and globalised markets. Not indulgent nostalgia such as this, you’ll be asking for a return to the gold standard next. Phfft!

;)

Edited by PopGun

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I'm well versed in this story as I get it every time I visit the wife's grandmother, in full, often getting the photo albums out to illustrate it :lol:

Married straight after the war, moved into in-laws house and set up home in the front room, both worked and saved before getting a council flat. Had child and were able to swap council houses with an old lady who found the house too big for her. Continued to live in council housing until the age of 40-ish when the husband was offered a job in Cambridge, managed to buy a 3 bedroom semi about 2 miles from Cambridge city centre on the wages of a machine opeator and cleaner.

The neighbouring houses were recently sold for £375k and £600k respectively.

They were relatively hard up until in their late 50's when they were able to right-to-buy purchase a council house that was lived in by one of their mothers. Bought it off the council for £25k and sold it for £65k (could not believe anyone would pay that much - it sold 15 years on for £200k!). Despite having lived in council housing for 20 years and getting £40k for free through RTB they always say they've never had anything off the council (I bite my lip at this point of the story!)

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From what I remember my granps bought his first house before the war 3 bed semi for £500 on one wage when he was about 26, anyone else got any examples of their family/friends from that era and their housing?

Was talking to my dad about this, just last weekend. I admit it's not the same era, but it's data.

He was on £19 per week (c.£1000 pa), as a 20-ish year old non-skilled worker when he bought his first house in 1968.

Purchase price was c£3500 for a nice 3 bed semi in a reasonably nice area.

My mother had a very small income at the time and this probably didn't come into the calculations.

They were both living with their parents, and saved for at least 6 months for the deposit, I am not sure about how much they had saved - if they needed a 10% deposit, I doubt that they could have saved £350 in 6 months from a gross annual salary of £1000, bear in mind income tax was at least 33%. Maybe they had help from their parents, or had additional savings to fall back on.

(I suppose I should just ask them really.)

Also they/parents were funding a wedding at the same time.

They sold the house for £50K in 1987, but it did have an extension added and some improvements, currently might sell for £135k, probably £150k at peak.

1968 - 1987 = 14x price increase in 21 years

1987 - 2007 = 3x price increase in 20 years or

1987 - 2010 = 2.7x price increase in 23 years

Just some numbers to chew on.

As a side question just for fun.... the house I currently live in was sold for £x in 1987, what year did it sell for £2x

Edited by twatmangle

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My dad was an assistant manager of a branch of the Abbey National in (very) outer London around 1980. We had a 1930s three-bed semi-detached house. Mum didn't work. We all had two holidays to Vienna each year to see mum's family.

Today it would be worth about 300K, so at a generous 4x single income you'd need to be earning 75K to buy today.

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A few not very intelligent students turn up in Trafalgar Sq and misbehave for a few hours.

Some thick, brainwashed Young Labour drones who wanted to demonstrate against "evil Tories" and get their fascist party back into power so they can f*ck the economy up some more.

They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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Riot? A few not very intelligent students turn up in Trafalgar Sq and misbehave for a few hours.

If the Police wanted to move them on water cannon in these temperatures would have seen them all off in 10 mins.

Early days. Early days yet. And water cannon will simply cause more rioters with even more aggressive tactics. Even live ammunition was powerless in Northern Ireland. The only way you can beat the mob is by turning the country into a paranoid police state, which is exactly what they have been trying to do for the last 10 years, and why.

Edited by Tecumseh

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Some thick, brainwashed Young Labour drones who wanted to demonstrate against "evil Tories" and get their fascist party back into power so they can f*ck the economy up some more.

They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

No the problem is

Some fu-ked off young people who have woken up and realised that they are being shafted and instead of moaning down the pub or on a site like this are doing somthing about it.

I think they have a gripe with being made to get into massive debt to obtain a degree that allows them access to a £6 an hour job , a job that paid more in real terms 25 years ago when their parents had to do it if they had left school at 16 with no qualifications.

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when i left school 1986 i remember it being about the worst dole queues ever.

in a small northern scottish town, there was no jobs at all, and the idea of going to uni was not for the majority. i remember seeing a long snake of out of work men waiting on signing on day, this was the days before they staggared the signing on times. most of my classmates were in the queue.

The appentichip schemes were mostly abandoned that year and in its place came the yts scheme, this was realy slavery for the masses. basically the government paid your wage, the employer getting you for free except for the day a week you were sent to college. But it realy was the only way for a lad to actually do anything except from sniffing glue and breaking windows.

the pay was £25 a week in first year and £35 in the second year. but here was the rub. Most of these were made up jobs to keep the youth off the street, any small crappy firm could get its own slave. This was all found out when infact it became time for the employer to actually start contributing to your wages, ie 2 years into your training loads were booted out back onto the street.

For those people that could get a job the going rate was £2.50 hour for factory/labouring shop work, this gave you £100 quid after taxes for your effort.

today over 20 years later this pay is only around double as its 37 hours mainly now not 40. and they bring a load of immigrant labour in to compete for these jobs just to add to the stress. i dont believe there has been another time in anyones lifetime when working for working class people was so poorly paid than now.I dont blame people sitting on the dole, infact it pays better and you know your rents going to be paid every month and the council tax people aint gonna put you in jail.

have prices only doubled on property/food/utilities/rent/council tax in 23 years?

no they ******ing have not. we were poor then, now we are poorer than church mice.

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when i left school 1986 i remember it being about the worst dole queues ever.

in a small northern scottish town, there was no jobs at all, and the idea of going to uni was not for the majority. i remember seeing a long snake of out of work men waiting on signing on day, this was the days before they staggared the signing on times. most of my classmates were in the queue.

The appentichip schemes were mostly abandoned that year and in its place came the yts scheme, this was realy slavery for the masses. basically the government paid your wage, the employer getting you for free except for the day a week you were sent to college. But it realy was the only way for a lad to actually do anything except from sniffing glue and breaking windows.

the pay was £25 a week in first year and £35 in the second year. but here was the rub. Most of these were made up jobs to keep the youth off the street, any small crappy firm could get its own slave. This was all found out when infact it became time for the employer to actually start contributing to your wages, ie 2 years into your training loads were booted out back onto the street.

For those people that could get a job the going rate was £2.50 hour for factory/labouring shop work, this gave you £100 quid after taxes for your effort.

today over 20 years later this pay is only around double as its 37 hours mainly now not 40. and they bring a load of immigrant labour in to compete for these jobs just to add to the stress. i dont believe there has been another time in anyones lifetime when working for working class people was so poorly paid than now.I dont blame people sitting on the dole, infact it pays better and you know your rents going to be paid every month and the council tax people aint gonna put you in jail.

have prices only doubled on property/food/utilities/rent/council tax in 23 years?

no they ******ing have not. we were poor then, now we are poorer than church mice.

I agree about YTS. One company used my brother as a slave for a couple of years before getting rid of as soon as his pay had to go up. My brother got his revenge though. The place he worked was way out of date on its health & safety. After they got rid of my brother they mysteriously had a visit from some officials who went round the whole factory and totted up all the problems. They got a fine and a hefty bill to bring the place up to standard.

Never treat your employees like shit

Never be rude to a waiter or a hairdresser.

There are some things people should always bear in mind......

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Never treat your employees like shit

Never be rude to a waiter or a hairdresser.

There are some things people should always bear in mind......

Somebody should tell that to the ra, ra turds that live in Surrey

God, they're in for a terrible shock

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when i left school 1986 i remember it being about the worst dole queues ever.

no they ******ing have not. we were poor then, now we are poorer than church mice.

Thanks for bringing the topic back on thread.

Accommodation is less affordable now - you might say barely attainable - than at any time since WW2. I don't think anyone can dispute that.

Post war, Governments actually thought that accommodation for families was a basic necessity. Nothing to do with laminate flooring or flush worktops or assorted 'gettin' on the ladder porn'.

I can remember how fast the Government housed people in those days. The field opposite, where I used to play football, was soon covered with council houses. I can remember my mates from Infant School living in post-war pre-fabs and quickly being moved on to quite nice housing.

Locally, Basildon, Essex was built. People have jeered and sneered at this place. But it provided nice, affordable council homes for thousands of families. They built endless schools and vast playing fields, cycle paths, pedestrian underpasses . . .

It would be like a Utopian dream today, if it hadn't all been sold off. Now it is a black hole of failing shopping malls, ripoff council parking, neg equity central.

You can't have functioning communities without affordable homes. That was recognised from the end of the war . . . probably right up until the end of the '70s.

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  • 311 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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