Council housing stands the test of time as Rotherham Council celebrates centenary

Blue plaques are normally installed to recognise the links between famous personalities and the buildings they have been associated with.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 1:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 6:25 pm
Home sweet home: Theresa Glenn at here East Dene council home

But in Rotherham, the latest to achieve the accolade will be the building itself – the borough’s first council house which is now turning 100 years old and still fulfilling its original purpose of providing high quality and affordable accommodation.

A plaque will be installed in a ceremony later this month, part of wider celebrations to mark the centenary of council housing in the borough.

First Avenue in East Dene was the first to see a new generation of council housing erected, in the years following World War One and it has been home to different generations down the decades.

Despite the ‘right to buy’ legislation introduced under the Thatcher regime in the 1980s, current tenant Theresa Glenn’s home has remained in local authority ownership.

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The 44 year old was born in East Dene and has remained in the community to raise her three children.

She said: “I moved in here on my own with my kids. As soon as I had this house I knew I would have the security and stability I needed to be able to bring them up on my own

“I’ve always worked but I didn’t want to get a mortgage, it felt like too much of a risk on my own.”

When they first moved in the children were aged six, three and two. Today, youngest daughter Jessica, 17, is about to start university to study nursing, Callum, 18, works in the steel industry and Bethany, 24, has graduated from university and now works as a web designer.

“I am really proud of all three of them. It hasn’t always been easy; I’ve had the same challenges as any other parent. Living in this house has given me the foundation to concentrate on my kids and to help them to follow what they’ve wanted to do,” she said.