Thursday 22 September 2022

Bertram Kirk's Wooden Shed - Meadow Head Allotments Sheffield - February 1926

This is also from The Sheffield Daily Independent dated 26th February 1926, the same edition that carried reports of the late Florence Hargreaves inquest and the prosecution of Sheffield's first licence evader. 

It appeared that due to a severe housing shortage in 1920's Sheffield, Mr Kirk and his family took to living in a wooden shed on Meadow Head Allotments which contravened so many local by-laws the corporation were compelled to seek the demolition of the wooden building. 


Wooden Building on Meadow Head Allotments. 

When Bertram Kirk was summoned at Sheffield yesterday for failing to remove a wooden building- from the Meadow Head allotments within the period allowed by the local authority, Mr. G. H. Banwell, prosecuting, said the maximum penalty which could be imposed was about £400. 

Mr. Banwell said that on January 25th last year, defendant was told not to use the building as a dwelling house. He received the formal notice to remove the dwelling and afterwards was convicted before the Court. 

The period which had expired since the date of conviction was 211 days (the penalty which can be imposed is £2 per day). Mr. F. W. Scorah stated that defendant had a wife and child, and had applied to the Corporation fo» a house, but his name was about the 6,600th on the list. 

Although the Corporation wanted to turn him out they were not prepared to find alternative accommodation. 

He asked for an adjournment that defendant could make an appeal to the Ministry of Health. 

The magistrates (Mr. Peter MacGregor and Sir Henry Hadow) said if defendant wished to lodge a local appeal they would allow him 14 days to do so.

The case was taken up by the local MP Mr Frank Lee who raised the matter in the House of Commons. a couple of days later.

From the report it appears that Sheffield Corporation had been making strenuous efforts over the preceding months to ensure that the Kirk family were without a roof over their head. But the fault according to the report is that when faced with notice of eviction and demolition of his home, Mr Kirk did not follow the correct appeals procedure 

Mr Neville Chamberlain (yes the peace in our time man) had specifically referred in December last to the appeals procedure under the Housing Acts but to date, no appeal had been received. He therefore declared that Sheffield corporation were now at war with Mr Kirk's family (sorry I just could not stop myself writing that!)

There was a vague undertaking that Mr Chamberlain would look into the matter but Sheffield corporation accused the minister of appeasing the soon to be homeless! 

The fate of the wooden building and the Kirk family are unknown  


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