The Daffodils of West Hendon
There are many stories about the people of West Hendon and this is one of them.
The Daffodils of West Hendon.
On Thursday’s day of action, I met Leigh, a woman who has lived in her home (her precious and beautiful home) on the West Hendon Estate for forty five years. A woman who contradicts all of the DailyMail stereotypes of people who live on council estates. A woman who has not been involved in the campaigning to date, as she never gets back home from work in time for the meetings. A woman who has negotiated 9 days holiday from work to attend the public inquiry which is so critical to her future.
A woman who told me the story of the first time she cried about her situation. A “silly” story, she said. That story also made me cry.
I may not get the details exact, but I want to try to relay that story as best I can.
In years gone by, in the green areas between the blocks and York Memorial Park, circles of daffodils were planted on the small hill beside the place where people used to play football. [ALL of this area has now been lost to the mega development]. The mists would rise in the mornings off the Welsh harp…the sunset views were magnificent….this green space surrounded on three sides by the buildings of tyrell way, marriotts close & marsh drive and on the other by the Welsh harp. She’d always called her Estate, West Hendon’s little secret, snuck away behind the Edgware Road.
When the “development”, the destruction, the decimation of the area began, the greenspace was first to be taken. The small hill with the daffodils dug up, churned over like a vision from watership down. Leigh looked from her window one day and saw on the top of the brown disrupted earth the daffodil bulbs sitting on top of the mound…..they still grew, they still bloomed. The sight of the daffodils clinging on until the end….Leigh cried and cried…and so did I.
Leigh is a leaseholder, bought her home under the right to buy. She does not know where she will go, how she will get there, how she will start again, how she will get to work, how she will see her friends, who will be her friends.
For Leigh and the other 679 households on this estate and hundreds, maybe thousands of others on other estates, like her but each with a different, distinct story, we must not let what is happening to her to happen.
She must have a fair, dignified outcome from this trauma she is now facing.
We must fight together to achieve this.
What’s right is right, AND THIS IS WRONG!! So very wrong.
West Hendon’s struggle for housing…” on YouTube – ‘All we are saying, is give us a home’ …: http://youtu.be/zSyoAxssulA