Do you remember the 70’s phrase “gazumping” – describing a surprise upward bid on a house you might be interested in buying? Well, this week, I’ve had to cope with historical gazumping, over the Haverton Hill Hostel. Read on to find out more!
Let me explain. I promised some weeks ago to carry on with my series of articles based around ‘hidden communities’ – the rise and fall of hidden villages and estates. This time I wanted to concentrate on the small shipbuilding town of Haverton Hill, south of Billingham, but like its bigger chemical neighbour, built as a ‘designed settlement’.
Welcoming Hungarian refugees
However, just as I was starting, I was caught out by an entry on the Teesside Archives blog about an aspect of Haverton Hills life I knew absolutely nothing about – the use of the town and its pre-war hostel – designed to welcome and accommodate arriving shipyard workers as part of the national 1950s scheme for welcoming and temporarily house Hungarian refugees. That, as we see now with Pritti Patel’s alienating, grotesque scheme for air deportations to Rwanda, raises tensions on all sides. But ultimately in the Haverton Hill case the “good” won out against the “bad”, which I hope will appear here again today.
Here is the link to the Haverton Hostel blog.
Let’s wish for the same outcomes this year across Teesside and the wider North East.