Tag Archives: new towns

Mr Lenthall, Engineer

Return to Meeting Mary Tabor

“And I suppose I must have applied for, eight or nine different opportunities, one of which was Stevenage.

I didn’t get a reply very quickly, and we were, going back up to Doncaster to see our relatives, there was family who were still living there, and on the journey back as we passed through Stevenage, my, my wife said;

“I, I don’t know what’s the matter with Stevenage. They don’t seem to want you.”

Anyway, she stuck her tongue out at Stevenage as we went through on the old A1.

A week later I was interviewing. 

We came and we were shown round by, Mary Tabor, who was the Housing Manager at that time, and I was, quite intrigued because we saw, I think about seven different types of houses, how, as we came to each house, somebody in the group would say,

“Ah, that’s the one for me.””

Mr Alford, Architect

Return to Meeting Mary Tabor

“…but still in a lot of mud, and rather rough conditions which one gets from a building site. We then walked back up through the mud to Stoney Hall and to Broadview, and this house was one that had been occupied for about 6 months, and was now empty.

And we rather liked that, it was in a situation the building had gone past that, things were clean and fairly tidy around. It was nearer the Old Town, which was the sole source of shopping in those days.”

Meeting Mary Tabor

When the new town was first built, there were strict rules for who could get houses. You had to get a job, work in Stevenage for six months, and then you got a house to rent. The houses weren’t cheap to rent, but they were generally new houses with gardens and many people came from overcrowded rooms primarily  in London.

When you got a job you had to see Miss. Tabor, the first housing officer in Stevenage she had the job for many years and many interviews mention her as a key figure:

Click the link to read and listen.

Mr Alford, Architect

Mr Lenthall, Engineer

Mrs Hampson

Mr Lowe, Builder

Mrs Askew, Pioneer

Mrs Rees, Community Activist

Mr Hayward, Emergency Service

Mr Severn, Pioneer

Mary Tabor, Housing Officer