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  • By John Pateman
    Feb 3, 2012
    I moved onto the Ramsden Estate in 1960 when I was four years old. The estate was newly built and my house, at 32 Petten Grove, was one of the last to be completed. I left the Ramsden Estate in 2004 when I was 48 years old. I had lived at 32 Petten Grove for 44 years. I say that I left the estate but, as Lynsey Handley has pointed out, you never really leave an estate like the Ramsden. It has shaped my identity, attitude and values and has built a brick wall in my mind which I have not been able, or wanted, to climb over. Rogaly and Taylor demonstrated how emigration as well as shorter distance moves out of such areas can be as suffused with emotion as moving into them. Both influence people’s sense of belonging to the place they live in. My self- identity has been defined by my life on the Ramsden Estate which has given me a strong sense of class consciousness and solidarity. I am descended from a long line of Kentish Romany Gyspies who travelled around southern England in the... More > nineteenth century. My great-great-grandfather, Robert Pateman (1821-1890) and his family were constantly on the move: from the Hoo Peninsula in Kent to the Potteries in Middlesex; and from the Commons of Surrey to the Brickfields of Essex. My grandfather Noah Pateman (1883 – 1949) was born in a house cart in 1883, but by the end of the century the family had moved into cottages at Farnborough; their nomadic lifestyle was over and my father, Arthur Pateman (1916-1966) was born in a house at Poverest Road, Orpington. Despite all of this Traveller blood coursing through my veins I lived in the same house at 32 Petten Grove for 44 years. This juxtaposition of a Gypsy past and a static present has made me very interested in issues of why people move around or stay in the same place and what effect this has on them. When I moved out of 32 Petten Grove in February 2004 I hardly gave it a second thought – yet this was the house where my father died in 1966, my mother died in 1988 and my daughter was born in 1998. I have written a history of the Ramsden Estate (Lulu, 2009) and this triggered many memories of the friends, family and people who lived in Petten Grove. This book looks at the people who lived in Petten Grove between 1956 and 2003. The information has been taken from Electoral Registers which can be found in any large public library. As such, the ‘personal’ information in this book regarding people’s names and addresses is already in the public domain. The purpose of writing this book was to find out how many families had lived in Petten Grove over the past 48 years – was the population relatively static or mobile? Had people lived in the same house for many years, or was there a more rapid turnover? My findings reveal a varied pattern of occupancy, depending on which measures are used. If we look at the average number of families per house and at the average moves per house, these suggest a relatively stable position. But if we consider the length of occupancy, then this gives us a more mobile picture. The 75 houses in Petten Grove have been occupied by 200 families, which averages out at 2.6 families per house. Nearly one fifth of the houses have been lived in by only one family during this 48 year period. There were a total of 135 moves into and out of Petten Grove between 1957 – 2004, which averages out at 2.81 moves per year. Most of the moves into and out of Petten Grove took place in the 1960s when there were more moves than in the 1970s and 1980s combined. One third of residents in Petten Grove have lived there for 1-5 years and 52% have lived there for 1-10 years. At the other end of the spectrum, 10.5% have lived there for 31-40 years and 7% have lived there for over 40 years.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Pateran Press
July 5, 2011
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.65 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.26 wide x 11.69 tall
Product ID
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