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Number 13

I have been on Facebook and reading an entry about Fir Park. One post asked why there was no number 13. Shortly after the Second World War the Government announced a building programme to build millions of Council houses now referred to as Social Housing. Brandon and the whole of the Deerness Valley Was in the area of the Brandon and Byshottles Urban District Council as the local Council was then known. The Council employed an Architect at that time named Fred Hedley. Mr Hedley designed most of the Council houses built in the area since the 2nd World War. The first house to miss the number was 13 Victoria Court. Mr and Mrs Gillon with Gordon, Dennis, Owen and Malcolm moved into number 12 and next door was Mr and Mrs Smaith and the twins Arthur and Albert and Ken at number 14. This omission was a source of local gossip and I remember the explanation for the omission was that Fred Hedley as he was referred to disliked number 13 hence the omission. Victoria Court was the first phase completed followed by Whitehouse Court then Bracken Court. After completion part of the wood was ripped out and the Oakridge Road area was then developed. Oakridge Road was beautiful when first built, open and a lot of grass. Now in this modern world the beauty of the area is spoiled by numerous parked vehicles, but that applies to most places now. Incidentally Fred Hedley won a National Award for the design of and old persons complex on the left of Newhouse Road in Esh Winning before Newhouse St. Mary’s Church. My family were amongst the first sixteen families to move into the new estate in January 1947. The last four houses and the first eight houses in Whitehouse Court and the last four houses in Victoria Court were the first houses lived in. We moved into 38 Victoria Court. Brian Mc.

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