Deborah's "eviction"

I was going through some old newspaper clippings recently, and came across this sad story of an 80 year old maiden lady called Deborah Margaret Bancroft, who after living her whole life in Aireworth Street, Keighley was forced to move out to make way for a new block of flats. The picture opposite shows Deborah tending her garden shortly before having to leave.
Aireworth Street had at one time been a row of 101 terrace houses, but from about 1959, houses in the area were deemed to be “unfit” and demolition started to enable three new blocks of flats to be built in their place. The demolition got nearer and nearer, until matters were brought to a head in 1973.
The local press wrote the following about her at the time:

“….For the past few months Miss Bancroft, of the white hair and weather-beaten face, had kept a lonely vigil in her through terrace house in Aireworth Street, last of the tenants to defy the bulldozers.
Not surprising really, as it was in that self-same house that she was born in the days of gaslights and hansom cabs. And on the face of it, was where she would have wanted to end her days amongst the surroundings she knows and loves.
With the stubbornness of age, she did not want change…and as she talked, she looked for confirmation to the framed photographs of her late mother and father in the front room.
But things came to a head on Monday when the demolition men fractured the gas main, which continued to serve the one occupied house…”

Needless to say, poor Deborah was forced to move out immediately, and had to exchange her little terrace house for one of the new flats, which were replacing Aireworth Street.
I do not know what happened after that, or how long poor Deborah continued to live in her new flat, but it must have been a real shock to her way of life, particularly at the age of 80 years.
I have more details about her family history, if anyone is interested.
Aireworth St flats under construction.

1 comment:

Georgie Girl said...

Jar, missed this you I wonder what happened to this wonderful lady.....perhaps one day we will find out.....

Thanks for sharing