Only a few days ago I was advocating a new form of house which could provide for the extended family; a several generation household instead of the fragmented family option of Granny in the downsized flat and the grown up kids in a rented waiting room, in housing limbo until the family house is sold by the parents to put deposits down on homes for the children. (See previous blog by clicking on “RETIREMENT HOUSING” in the Topics List).
I had forgotten another housing option, one which was quite common in equally austere and housing-shortaged Britain after the Second World War. The lodger was a common addition to many households as a way of supplementing income and filling a spare room. No need for a bedroom tax in those days, people automatically thought of using under-occupied rooms.
We had a succession of managers from Woolworths (Woollies) Department Store who I remember brought me sweets home. Then there were the shoe shop managers, all stepping up the shoe shop management ladder, one shop at a time. No free shoes that I can remember, but I did get to play in the Clarks shoe shop and see my feet in the X-ray machine. I remember Uncle Glyn who was a great cartoonist who drew lots of Disney characters for my bedroom wall. Then there was big David Rowlands – a Rugby player who had to duck to get through the doors in the house. I am sure he was 7’ 6” with feet as big as dinner plates.
Lodgers bring back lots of happy childhood memories. So maybe the multi-generation family long house could be extended to provide for a few lodgers.
A recent survey by LV=, the home insurer, found that twice as many homeowners are taking in lodgers to make ends meet, compared to 5 years ago. The average rent for a spare room in the Midlands was £201 for a month, in London it was £345.
P.s. My Dad used to collect insurance door to door every fortnight for the Liverpool Victoria before it became posh and unrecognisable as LV=. Now, it is all online and no friendly face calls at the door any more. Progress of a sort, but insurance is not cheaper. Nonetheless. I’ll bet LV= has a glossy, glassy, swanky HQ office and I don’t suppose their managers lodge in people’s houses anymore.