Page 13, 26th May 1939

26th May 1939
Page 13
Page 13, 26th May 1939 — so that birth-rate has been particularly high. But now the

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People: Norris Green


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so that birth-rate has been particularly high. But now the

number of mothers of child-bearing age is falling quickly, because there is no room on the estate for newly-weds.

Parents do not evaporate when they cease to beget children. They remain in their rooms and their houses, and as their children grow up their houses tend to get uncomfortably crowded, so that It is a relief when the eldest son goes away to another district to work and the eldest daughter marries and goes to live outside the estate.

Any expansion of Norris Green to accommodate a rising birth-rate has been prevented, by the development of the open country that formerly surrounded the estate. There has been no planning of the growth of the estate, as there has been planning for the growth of garden cities. The young people must leave their parents and their homes in Norris Green, simply because there is no room for them.

Obviously, such emigration does not allow of a healthy, corporate life on the estate.

"City-Makers Must Build For The Family"

Norman Williams sums up the situation in this way: " In the early years of a large new housing estate like Norris Green, where the original population consisted of young families, there is a preponderance of married people between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five and of children under ten, coupled with a comparative absence of adolescents and of people over forty-five. Twenty years later we can expect the opposite state of affairs; a large number of adolescents and a large number of married folk over forty-five, but a scarcity of young children and of young married people."

He suggests as a partial solution to the problem of finding houses for young people in Norris Green that some of the three-bedroom Parlour houses, which are fairly difficult to let in the ordinary way, should be converted into pairs of fiats. These, he thinks, " would suffice young married couples for a time," and the lower rent of the fiat " would give them a chance ' to get on their feet.'"

In conclusion, he has wise things to say on the nature and the aims of a municipal housing estate.

" The maker of cities must build for the family. Families form themselves into groups; we must foster the growth of such groups on the new estate, and the designer must bear this in mind when he makes his plans.

"It is not good for a man to keep to his family all the while; he requires the company of other men, women require the company of other women, boys the company of other boys; each individual seeks the companionship of individual similar to him in sex, age and social habits . . ."

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