Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Struggletown

I have just finished a marvellous book called Struggletown which I borrowed from the City Library. It is more or less a history of Richmond up until the early 1980s. While it was perhaps written from a left perspective, it does not pull punches on critisising the Labor Party and nor does it glamourise the working class slums that were a feature of Richmond. The corruption of the Labour/DLP controlled council can be seen today in the poor standard of the roads.

It reminded me of when my mother's niece was about to marry Bruno, a Greek guy. The family was horrified, but even worse, the wedding was going to be in North Fitzroy. They would have done well to have bought a few properties in either Richmond or North Fitzroy, and maybe I would be rich today.

Here is something I remember from the book that is not such old history. Where the housing commission flats are now, just south of Victoria St, one person owned three hundred houses there. How did the Housing commission authority pay him, in comparison to individual home owners? They paid him a fair price and ripped off the individual home owners (my words).

Btw, Richmond hill was always expensive. Burnley was also a bit above. In the early nineteen hundreds, there was a Burnley Progress Association. It campaigned for better roads, getting rid of noxious factories and more.

If you are a Richmond resident or a pending one, I do suggest you read the book and know about where you are living.

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