Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Goodbye Marissal Road

We moved into our council house in Henbury, Bristol in 1954 when I was three. The three children grew up in it and one by one we all left. My mother was the last to vacate the property, after more than fifty years, and so today the house was cleared. I was there before 8 am this morning and took this video tour while waiting for the house clearance team from the British Heart Foundation.

The BHF team were efficient and were done by lunchtime. On my return to lock up, I took these final pictures.

The master bedroom

The back bedroom - most of us occupied it one time or another

The 'box' room - mine while at secondary school

The hall and front door

The kitchen leading to back garden

The living room, looking to the back garden

The living room at the front
It all looks rather forlorn. Pathos turned to bathos when I turned up at the Lawrence Weston 'Citizen Service Point' to hand in the keys. The council employee checked the address on the computer and could unearth no evidence that Bristol Council was aware the property had been vacated. Yes, they had lost my 'notice to quit' letter of three weeks ago.

I am wise in the Kafkaesque ways of public bureaucracies. Calm, calm, calm. Under instruction I wrote a lengthy, handwritten letter outlining all the facts of the case with dates and events, and ended by pleading with the anonymous council recipient to please accept the original termination date despite the absence of said 'quit notice' in their filing system.

We shall see whether such grovelling saves some gratuitous rent payments.