Homes for Heroes - Projects Galore for Pendower Good Neighbour Project
‘Homes for Heroes’ celebrated the people and history of Pendower, one of Britain’s first Council Estates. The Great War changed British society in many ways; not least establishing the health and welfare of the nation as the responsibility of the State. The 1919 Addison Act allowed local Corporations to borrow money through the Housing Bond, encouraging them to build decent homes for the returning soldiers and their families; homes fit for heroes. Pendower houses were of the highest quality with large rooms, gardens at the front and back, and indoor bathrooms and lavatories, a luxury normally only available to the wealthy. Inspite of Second World War bombing and the challenges of post-war reconstruction, Pendower remained a highly desirable area until the 1980s, when a combination of Conservative Government policies caused significant decline in the West End of Newcastle. The poverty of mass unemployment and radical restrictions on council spending meant that neither the tenants nor the City Council could afford to maintain the homes of Pendower. But Pendower residents and tenants continued to work together, and this spirit of community means Pendower is once again becoming a highly desirable place to live.
The performance, ‘Homes for Heroes’ was only part of the ‘Passing on our Stories’ project, funded by Make Your Mark. Throughout 2012, the adults and children who took part in activities at Sunnybank Centre worked with the staff and volunteers from the Pendower Good Neighbour Project and a team of artists and performers from Projects Galore. Together they researched the history of the estate, visiting museums and archives throughout the region and taking part in creative activities responding to this research. A short video of the performance can be seen on YouTube at https://youtu.be/jvUDamS1I3Q