NOSTALGIA: The heart-warming reason this Sheffield man chose to live all his life in the flat he was born in during Second World WarÂ

To be able to say you are proud of where you live is a privilege to be cherished.Â

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 14 November, 2018, 08:50

And for Stuart Cooke home has always been where the heart is.

Stuart Cooke has written a book about the the history of Regent Court in Hillsborough. Picture Scott Merrylees

For the Sheffield man has lived in the same flat that he was born in for an astonishing 75 years.

While his modest apartment in Regent Court, Hillsborough, may not be much to some '“ it is a special place for him and he has never considered moving.

He said: 'I love it here, I've got a great view out over this part of the city and there is a real community spirit.  

Stuart Cooke has written a book about the the history of Regent Court in Hillsborough. Collect of the building in the 1950's. Picture Scott Merrylees

'I have seen different generations grow up here, people come and go and its nice to see people who used to live here years ago coming back.

'People sadly die of course, but then new people '“ young families '“ move in which is nice to see.

'I must be the longest serving resident in any apartment complex in the city.'

Stuart's parents Esther and Arthur moved into the complex in 1941 shortly after their home in nearby Hawksley Avenue was destroyed by Nazi bombs during the Blitz.

Regent Court in 1937. Picture Scott Merrylees

A few years later, during the height of the Second World War, he was born at the flat in 1943.

Stuart, who worked for the Co-operative department store in Sheffield for 40 years, has fond memories of his childhood.

He said: 'There must have been about 40 or 50 kids who lived here and we did not have much money so people hardly ever went on holidays.

'But you just got on with it, and we all used to play together in the grounds of the complex. Everyone was very close.'

Stuart Cooke outside Regent Court. Picture Scott Merrylees

As he moved into young adulthood, he remembers a few famous faces who came to call the complex home during the 1970s.

He said: 'The singer Tony Christie used to live here and a few motocross riders who used to compete at the nearby Owlerton Stadium too.

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'I remember seeing Tony about the building but I did not really know who he was, then I read in the paper that his record had become a hit and I thought 'I recognise him from the building!'

But there were some dark days and the building was in need of refurbishment in the 1990s.

'There was a time in the early 90s when the building was looking a bit shabby '“ it had hardly been updated since it was built.

'But then it was re-painted and some of the brickwork was re-pointed and it looks great now. It has really realised its potential.

Regent Court in the 1950s. Picture Scott Merrylees

'It is a great looking building, a bit unusual and it must have been made properly in the 1930s.'

The complex was built in 1937 and he helped to organise a celebration event to mark the 80th year anniversary last year that was attended by tenants old and new.

He also wrote a book called 'The Rise of Regent Court' to commemorate the occasion which included numerous old pictures of the building that people had shared with him that he gave us permission to feature.

While writing the book and looking back he also came across old rent books that his mum had kept.

He said: 'She kept all of them with records of rent payments going back years.

'She used to pay 19 shillings and four pence per week that is about 97p. How times have changed.'

Stuart believes the building will have a bright future '“ even after he has gone.

He said: 'When it was a bit dilapidated I used to think that I might out-live the building '“ but now I think it will out-live me for generations to come.'

Stuart Cooke has written a book about the the history of Regent Court in Hillsborough. Picture Scott Merrylees
Stuart Cooke of Regent Court. Picture Scott Merrylees
A tenancy agreement from the 1950's. Picture Scott Merrylees