August 26, 2011

First published in Looking Back

From the Durham County Advertiser 50 years ago: A switch in the line of one of Durham City’s proposed new roads brought heartache to several householders in Atherton and Sutton Streets last weekend.

A County Council official knocked on their doors to tell them: “Your property may have to come down.” Mrs Monica Duff, a widow of 35 Atherton Street, who was away last weekend, was given the news by a neighbour.

“I was speechless with shock because I had been told that under the original plan my property was safe,” she said.

“Now I have been told that I may have to move to Newton Hall, Gilesgate Moor or “elsewhere”.

It’s like a nightmare. The house is my own and I make a living by taking in students. Do I get compensation for the loss of my livelihood?” Another five houses in Atherton Street, Nos 35 to 40, are now in a proposed redevelopment area to make way for a new road from Crossgate to the rear of the bus station. At No 40, Mr John Raphael, an old-age pensioner, who bought the house from his savings two years ago, held his head in his hands for an hour after receiving the news.

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