Council Flats

In the 1930’s between two world
wars our little city built fifty two
one storey flats in blocks of four
particularly for the elderly after
the world’s traumatic financial crisis.

Little blocks of four one bedroom
flats lined up in their three columns.
Tiny windows letting in some daylight
flanking small open front porches, little
back doors opening on to tiny verandahs.
Small clotheslines near flights of
back steps and recycling bins
all sheltered by neat trellises.

Fifty two tiny flats in their columns
surrounded by wide open grassy
spaces next to vast playing fields.
Eighty years later massive
earthquakes rocked our shaky
isles followed by more five years.
all public buildings meeting all
requirements of today’s regulatory
building codes all enacted in law
in the last twenty years.

Those elderly council flats can never
comply. Relentless demolition comes.

Council Flats

15 thoughts on “Council Flats

    1. Fortunately I am not living in one of those flats, They are on the cul de sac over the road from my block of flats, But I do sometimes meet up on the way to the supermarket with two of the women who live there. It was huge upheaval for them, but we all know they had to move. The Kaikoura / Wellington earthquakes in 2016 shook this area up very thoroughly. My block was built in 1975, with a solid concrete pad for the floors, We are as OK as we know how to be at the moment.

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      1. Reading ‘What to do in an Earthquake’ instructions when in the Azores in July was disturbing. I was sure I’d forget the minute the shakes began. They’ve been having a ‘crisis’ as they call it, a swarm of Mag 5’s in the surrounding ocean.

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    1. All are horrific. I regularly walk to the supermarket with one or other of two women there whom I used to see quite a lot. It was a time of great upheaval but we all knew it had to happen.

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  1. Change is hard. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy any pluses that come with the negatives of being moved. My sister just moved downstairs to a smaller apartment so she didn’t have to lug her groceries and such up a steep flight of stairs. She gets a screened in porch for a quarter of the length of the large house. I told her this porch is worth the loss of the indoor space and she agreed. The downside is our lengthy cold weather. Hopefully, she’ll get a few weeks of sunshine before she hibernates somewhat for the winter.

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    1. It is hard. However we and the elderly all remember how much our area was shaken up by the 2016 Kaikoura / Wellington earthquakes. There are likely to be more earthquakes all round our country in the relatively near future so this all has to be done.

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