50 years on the Wates Estate – by FH

Because my husband was about to take a posting, he worked for Unilever at the time, to Hayes and he thought Ham would be a good place to get to Hayes from Ham by public transport or by car.  We moved into this house, just as it was built.  When Geoff chose it, it was a hole in the ground but he earmarked this site and when the house was completed about six months after he had seen the site, we moved in and we still live here now, 50 odd years later.

So how much of the estate was built when you moved in?  Watermill Close and Kingfisher Drive and I think that was about the extent of it then and it gradually built up around us, as the next 2 or 3 years went by.  In fact the road, when we moved in in November, this road wasn’t made up, but you know little by little it became completed. The details like cobbled areas and finishing the paving stones, so it developed as we lived here in those early weeks and months.

That was the nice thing about it, most of us were couples with young families um there was one or two people without children but on the whole we were mostly people in our late 20’s, early 30’s, with families at various different stages. The Broughside flats were built a little bit later and then more flats were built called the Albany which are at a right angles to the Broughside flats and when the Broughside flats were built a row of shops opened under them.  When we first came to live here the nearest shops were the ones at the bottom of Ashburnham road which is opposite the Ham Library, but that didn’t seem very far away.  But once the shops came onto the Croft Way area, the St Richards Square as it became called, it was more convenient.