Building Hall i’th’ Wood estate.

Many people were still living in unfit properties post World War One. This period saw the Government put in place various Housing Acts.

“He believed that the new housing would enable them to transport the people from the slum areas. He said he had visited some of the slums with the Medical Officer of Health and he had seen people living in houses that are a disgrace to the year 1930.” Mayor of Bolton R E Roberts 1930

Above photo: Farnworth Weekly Journal 28th October 1927 showing what the Journal described as “Defective Housing” in the New Bury area. Image courtesy Bolton News

Resolving to build homes for the “working classes”, Bolton Corporation purchased land at a cost of £12,716 Os 10d from E A Le Gendre Starkie March 1930.

They planned at this stage to build either 543 houses or 10 shops and 530
houses (477 houses and 8 shops are completed) With 30 homes on the estate at the disposal of the Public Health Committee for rehousing.

Pioneering Bolton – Creating a Housing Department

The late 1920s, a notable period in housing development, saw Corporations across England start to create Housing Departments. Bolton Corporation Housing Committee minutes show the Committee visited various other towns to gain inspiration for housing estates in Bolton. In 1927 the Committee visited; Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Pudsey and Garside.

As new estates were built across the borough, the Committee were adding new departments and staff. Minutes 24th April 1928 they plan to establish their own painting an decorating department.

Borough-wide plans mean that they need to appoint a Director for Housing; 1929 the Committee write to other Corporations asking what salary they pay their Director’s. They appoint Cyril Walker 1929; with an annual salary £700 increasing £50 per year to a maximum £800. As Housing Director, his role involved drawing the plans for new estates, including the Hall i’th’Wood estate.

Housing minutes 8th September 1930 state the Director is using his own car for work and charging the Corporation 6d per mile; he also requests a telephone be installed in his home, which the Committee approve. Remember, unlike today, few people had telephones in their homes – this was a luxury item.

Minutes 4th March 1930; the Housing Director puts forward his staffing plans for the Housing Department at follows….

1 x Housing Director
1 x Chief Clerk Class VI
3 x Senior Rent Collectors Class III
4 x Rent Collectors Class II (later minutes show salary £155 per annum)
1 x Lady Property Manager, salary £250 per year
1 x Assistant Lady Propery Manager, salary £180 – £200 per annum
3 x Female Clerks Class I and II
1 x Clerk Class I and II
1 x Architectural Assistant Class VII
1 x Architectural Assistant Class V
1 x Surveying Assistant Class VII
1 x Surveying Assistant Class V
1 x Accounts Clerk Class VII
1 x Assistant Accounts Clerk Class V
2 x Junior Accounts Clerks Class II
1 x Storekeeper Class II

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