Scope and Contents
Description of living accommodation and household. Other topics discussed include: Personal finance and bills; family; early life and education.
INTVEE lives with her husband and two children in one room in St James Square in Leith. Her children have had bronchitis and diarrhoea and she thinks it is the house. They pay almost £1 a week in rent. INTVER says of the location that "it is almost as slummy as Arthur Street but with perhaps more dignity which maybe makes it even worse now that its so decrepit. It used to be a place for Meths drinkers and prostitutes". INTVEE says there used to be a prostitute living opposite and found it embarrassing when people knocked on her door. The area is to be cleared, they take out the water, gas and electricity so squatters don't move in. There is only five families left on the stair. There are at least five flats and each one is divided up into two main flats which are sub-let. INTVER writes "The stairs were just as filthy and neglected as Arthur Street". INTVEE and family have lived here for three years and are very keen to move, they are now the oldest inhabitants of the stair. They have been on the housing list since 1958. She wouldn't hang washing out on the lines outside the window because someone would pour dirty water over it and she can’t hang it up in the backyard as kids would be away with it. The backyard is full of rocks. she sometimes took her older child into the square at the front where you can lock the gate so it is quite safe but there are often older children who use bad language. There is no water or bathroom in their room or on the stair. She shares a WC with one other family. She says the sanitary man had told her she wasn't overcrowded because they have an 11 foot ceiling. INTVER comments that it is crowded with quite a lot of furniture - kitchen cabinets, children’s pram and cot, studio couch which made a double bed at night, a large table in the middle of the room. INTVER writes "The room generally was very untidy not excessively dirty but rather smelly. They had a large cupboard which her husband had made into a minute kitchen, fitted with shelves and a gas cooker, there was a small open coal fire, television and radio-gram, and dartboard". INTVEE says the only thing she will miss is the high ceiling. They don't go out much as a couple, she goes dancing once a week, her husband spends all his spare time playing darts. She sews and knits and has an electric sewing and knitting machine. She thinks her husband's wage is £15 a week and he pays the rent and bills. In their new house they are going to take out the coal fires and install Magi-coal electric ones. They're going to have an immersion and electric radiators and get a new Creda electric cooker. They have the radiogram on hire purchase but her husband doesn't approve. She said her mother told her that before the war they always had a choice of three keys, now they put you back 6 months if you don't accept. You get the keys the day before and a week's rent is due the next day. They have been to see Muirhouse and think it is nice with the sea and the country, not as rough as Pilton. They liked the nine-story blocks going up but as it will be another few months before they are finished they have taken the place they have been offered.
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