I thought it was the countryside - it was all fields!
I had been on the waiting list for six years before we were offered a flat in Longbenton. We picked up the keys from the housing office in Newcastle on a Thursday and they gave us directions of how to get there. There was wood nailed on wood showing the street names. Me in my black suede shoes – they were ruined as it was like a builders site.
I moved from Sandyford in Newcastle to Longbenton – I thought it was the countryside as it was all fields. I could walk into Newcastle in 10 minutes from where I previously lived.
We turned it down on the Friday. Over the weekend we thought about it and decided we would accept it. On the Monday we went back into the housing office in Newcastle – eventually we were allowed to have keys, however, there was a stipulation we weren’t able to do a mutual exchange within two years, normally it was only one year.
When we moved into our flat there were no pavements or streetlights. I worked at the Oxford Galleries in Newcastle at the time, I would finish and get the 11:45 pm train from Manors to Benton Station. I had to walk home in the dark from there to my flat in Charnwood Avenue.
There was a service to your door where you could hire Hoover washing machines to use in your home. I would hire one for an hour between 9-10am then the person below me would have it between 10-11am. You would make sure you had your boiler on so the water was hot.
I did my shopping at Four Lane Ends and there were two vans that came around the estate, Harry’s van was a general dealer and Billy’s van had fruit and vegetables. The Co-op at South Gosforth would deliver to your door if you put your order in. You could walk to Henzell’s farm to get your eggs.
I wouldn’t live anywhere else now.