A Family Story

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I was 21, when I emigrated June 14, 1969 to Canada from London, England, following my brother who had emigrated in 1967. I recently discovered an old newspaper article concerning my family written in the Daily Express, August 1,1969. The substance of this article follows:

” An East London tenant who has received a ‘pay up or you will be evicted’ notice has to sleep in the living room of his home in the Winter. For the bedroom of Mr. Len White’s    (my father) home in Southwater Close, Limehouse is saturated with damp which makes the family’s clothes mildew and their sheets wet. And every Winter Mr.White and his attractive wife Catherine make up a bed on their settee (sofa) each night. The walls of the room have been damp for four years. Yet despite repeated complaints the situation is as bad as ever. The White’s have been refusing to pay their 10s.6d rent increase because they feel the flat(apartment) is not worth it. They are 21pounds in arrears have been sent an eviction notice taking effect in three weeks. We are determined not to pay up said Mr.White who works in Spitalfields Market. We don’t think the place is worth the increase and we will barricade ourselves in to prove our point. Mr.White added we are constantly having to repaper the walls as they are wet and the sheets are always wet as well as the window sills. The hinges broke on the windows about two years ago and we are unable to close them. We are still waiting for them to be fixed. The Whites moved into their 13 year old flat as a temporary measure by the Greater London Council as they have six children and only three bedrooms, having to sleep three children to each room.  It was really a squeeze said Mrs. White until our two older boys emigrated to Canada. A spokesman for the Greater London Council said any remedial action to fix the ventilation will be done.”

The next year the rest of my family emigrated to Canada to join my brother and myself. That lasted one year as my father couldn’t adapt to Canadian culture and my teenage siblings missed their friends. They were too Cockney to adapt and missed the social life of London, England. And here I am 49 years later blogging.

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