My family moved to the house at 62 Friars Avenue on Monday, May 24th, 1948, a few days before my 3rd birthday. I lived there continuously until I left home to go to college in September 1963. My father lived there until he died in 1984. My mother continued to live there until 1990, when she was no longer able to manage the house, and moved to a nursing home. My wife and I lived there briefly in 1990, before buying a flat in London. We sold the house the following year.
The house was built in 1948 by the town of Northampton. It was a "council house" — that is, public housing let at a weekly rent. The initial rent was 19 shillings a week (about $3.80 at the prevailing exchange rate). My parents continued to rent it until 1982, by which time the weekly rent was £12.64 (though this was a reduced rent on account of their ages). I then bought the house for them under the policy instituted by Margaret Thatcher's government, of selling council houses to tenants at discount. Because my parents had been renting for over thirty years, they got the maximum fifty percent discount. I paid Northampton £8,425 for the house. At the time of writing (late 2007), houses like this in Friars Avenue sell for £150,000-160,000.
No. 62 is a semi-detached house — one half of a two-family structure. The western half of the structure (i.e. out of this picture at the left) is No. 64, occupied by the Starmer family all through my childhood.
The downward links give details on:
- The entire 62 Friars Avenue property, with a plan.
- The lower floor of the house ("ground floor" in Britain, "first floor" in the U.S.A.).
- The upper floor of the house ("first floor" in Britain, "second floor" in the U.S.A.).
- A satellite view of the current property, from Google Earth.
- Some photographs.
- My recollections of the house's neighbors during my childhood.
- All the rent books, recording rent paid to the town 1948-81.
- A valuer's report done for the Halifax Building Society in 1981 or 1982, prior to my buying the house.