South Yorkshire Times November 23, 1957
Self-Build Group to Tackle 18 houses
Now Assured of £20,250 Loan
Darfield, Denaby, Mexborough, Swinton & Wath Men to Operate On Swinton Site
The South Yorkshire Times” Self Build Housing Association Ltd. formed 18 months ago had good news for its 18 members at their meeting on Tuesday when it was disclosed that a loan for £20,250 had been approved.
It is expected that building will begin before the end of the sear.
Each member has loaned £50 and holds one £1 share in the Association. The tenants of the first of the semi-detached houses, to be built on a site at Piccadilly Road, Swinton, were selected by a draw among members at the meeting.
Launched in “Times”
The Association was formed as a result of an invitation published in the editorial column of this paper on April 28, 1956
The members who are from Darfield, Denaby, Mexborough, Swinton and Wath, are to provide all the necessary labour themselves and will purchase materials from the loan approved for them by the Co-operative Permanent Building !Society.
It is hoped to complete all 18 houses, which are of a semidetached three bedroom type, within three years. By building in this way approximately 50 per cent of the cost of the houses will be saved.
Ups and Downs
Over the past eighteen months this organisation has experienced, many ups and downs. The credit squeeze started immediately after its formation, making it exceedingly difficult to obtain the necessary loan. Typical of the many setbacks suffered in -this connection was the Group’s experience with one building society, which after expressing an interest in the scheme, rejected it at board level. Finally, with the kind assistance of the National Federation of Housing Societies, and the enthusiastic support of Mr. D. Lewis, the Sheffield area manager of !the Co-operative Permanent Building Society, the loan was approved. This far-seeing organisation has financed over 40 of the 150-odd self build schemes in existence up and down the country.
At the outset the position of the site was not known, so a number of local authorities were approached in order to get their approval in case land was chosen in their area. Some Councils were most co-operative—notable among these being Swinton, Rawmarsh, Wath-on-Dearne and Dearne Urban Councils.
Fortunately for the Group, however, the Council in whose area land was eventually found, was Swinton —the area most of the members preferred stock the site lies to the West of Piccadilly Road, Swinton, opposite the prefab is owned by L Fitzwilliam’s Estate company Ltd, with whom the Association is to take out a long term lease.
Although similar schemes have been completed without the aid of a single craftsman, this Association has thought It prudent to retain a balance of about 50 per cent tradesmen in its membership. They are three bricklayers, a joiner, two electrical engineers, a plumber and a Surveyor, among others. Many of the non-craftsmen have spent a year at night school learning bricklaying. Members occupations range from mining to clerical work.
The Chairman of the Association .is Mr. R. J. Condon, an electrical1 engineer, of 107 Melton High Street. Wath-ort-Dearne, and the Treasurer is Mr. J. A. Wallis, a progress clerk of 44 Victoria Road. Mexborough. Mr. Wallis’s father is one of the Association’s newest recruits. Secretary is Mr. R. L. Parkin, Secretary of the “South Yorkshire Times” Printing Co. Ltd.
This scheme could never have been brought to the stage where work on the site is about to start, had it not been for the hard work and enthusiasm of individuals outside the membership.
Two examples are Mr. P. B. Rowson, of Sprotborough, who sacrificed spare time to produce the necessary architectural drawings, and Mr. Arthur Jackson, a Rotherham solicitor, whose help and advice have been invaluable.
The Association is registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893, and has adopted’ the rules recommended by the National Federation of Housing Societies, which provides that ‘Workers Loan Stock’ should be credited to each member in proportion to the number of hours of work performed.
In the actual building operations, if a member has worked more than the average he is credited with. the number of excess hours worked. The value of these hours in cash is calculated by dividing the total hours worked by all members on, completion of the scheme into the total value of the finished property, after taking liabilities such as I Loans, Share Capital, etc., into consideration. A member who has worked less than the average number of hours will be debited with the value of his deficiency.
When the scheme is completed the Association will be wound up and the houses transferred to the members. Each will, therefore, take over his portion of the lawn from the Building Society according to the costs of his house, with an adjustment, the value of ‘Workers’ Loan Stock’ held.