The Bushbury Hill estate was built to provide housing for the working men and women employed in the nearby engineering and manufacturing industries. These industries were household names like Ever Ready Batteries, Guy Motors, Goodyear and Lucas Areospace. They provided a whole range of employment from floor sweepers to skilled engineers.
As the industries gradually closed the social and economic activity began a downward spiral. The Estates pubs and working men’s clubs declined in popularity and gradually lost their role at the heart of the community. Slowly as the level of unemployment increased so did the level of debt til eventually the area was blacklisted by insurance companies and banks.
So far three generations lives had been blighted by the scourge of unemployment and social instability. Many families lived on state benefits and young people were growing up in a disillusioned environment.
Birth of the Tenant Group
In 1989 a small group of tenants decided they were no longer prepared to sit back and wait for Wolverhampton City Council to carry out the much needed repairs to their homes. The tenants decided it was time the council invested some money into their homes as this had been lacking for years. A residents association was set up to petition the Council for repairs and home improvements.
Then in the early 1990’s the Estate was threatened with demolition! A leaked letter from the Council to the Government expressed the Council’s view that demolition of the Estate was a real option. The newly formed Tenants & Residents Association were very angry that this view had been expressed by the Council with out any reference to the community.
The struggle for investment
The tenants group decided to take up the fight. They decided to take on Goliath, Wolverhampton Council with a stated aim of securing much needed investment in their properties.