Over the past few months, you may have heard some of our recordings in which Burnage people remember the Rent Man. Arthur Howell remembered him arriving through the back gate to inspect the gardens before announcing his presence. This clip helps to visualise the anxiety families must have felt to keep their houses and gardens in check:
In fact, it was not just a threat, tenants could be evicted if they failed to keep their houses tidy and their gardens maintained. This news article explains how John Rattigan of Avon Gardens had been faced with having his home repossessed by the Corporation because his garden was ‘very untidy and full of weeds’.
Imagine arriving in Burnage, from a more typically industrial area with little to no green space, to find you had a vast garden which you had to maintain yourself or face eviction!
Did you or your family have any run-ins with the Rent Man or the Corporation for what they deemed unacceptable maintenance? Let us know your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org