Rochford Housing Association has enjoyed learning about the history of some of their properties when we spent time with one of our eldest longest-standing residents.
Enid Cottis and her husband Bert moved into the cottage, near Canewdon, a year after the Second World War ended in 1946. Nearly 68 years later, now aged 93, Enid is still enjoying the house that she calls home.
After the war had ended, Enid, who was serving as a photostat operator for the Army Intelligence Corps in Cambridge and London, returned to rural Essex where she grew up. Bert also returned after being away in Europe with the Territorial Army.
Enid remembered not being able to find their own home, “We had to stay at my mother’s for a while because we didn’t have anywhere of our own.”
The couple then found Lambourne Mead Cottages, built for agricultural workers on the adjoining farm. Although Bert was trained in electrics he took a job on the farm so they could live in one of the newly built cottages.
“There were six houses, all of them built for the labourers that used to work on the farm, and although they were small, they were perfect for us. They were only built the year before we moved into them.” Enid explains.
Their two children were raised in the house, Barry and Brian, and Enid has many happy memories of them enjoying the fields nearby and being able to push them to school on their bikes. Around this time in the 50s, the rent for Enid’s home was 15 shillings and sixpence.
Much later, in 2007, we took over the management of the cottages from the council. Enid’s tenancy, which is nearly 70 years, is the longest tenancy we have ever inherited from the local council.
Enid commented, “I love the house and I love the garden. It’s a lovely place to live. Nearly everything in my life has happened to me while I’ve been living in this house.
“I love watching quizzes on the television to keep my brain ticking over, and I still go shopping in Southend and on the bus to see my sister in Rayleigh,” she says.”
Rochford Housing Association, part of Sanctuary Group, manages around 1,750 properties in the Rochford area, including general rented, social housing and retirement living. To find out more, call 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511 (from a mobile) or visit our website.