The survivors

I came across this item in the Telegraph electronic newspaper yesterday. Those who read my blog of the 18th December 2008 will have gathered that the people who survive in the coming depression will be those who belong to close-knit communities – and what could be closer than this? I have cut the article down as it was rather long – and have just kept the overall message.

The Hall family have come to dominate Cotswold Gardens in Lobley Hill, Gateshead, since Catherine Hall first settled in the street in 1958.

The 76-year-old matriarch held her dynasty together until she died last month.

During her life Mrs Hall had six children, who went on to give her 35 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The 69-strong clan now occupy more than 15 houses along the street, ranging from four-week-old Ellie to great uncle Jo, 76.

Between them they have more than 50 pets, including four parrots, 30 chickens, 11 dogs, two goldfish and four horses. If you include the 160 racing pigeons, there are almost 300 mouths to feed.

Unrelated neighbours believe the street should be renamed ‘Hall Gardens.’

Daughter Marganne, 42, said: “It was my mum and dad who held the whole family together. We only try to buy presents for the children because otherwise it would cost us an absolute fortune, but we still manage the occasional gift. We’re just an exceptionally close family. We love being around each other and helping each other out when someone needs it.”

The full article can be seen on this page at the Telegraph website.

It’s not too late to get to know your neighbours. Try doing this: invite them in for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Do it one at a time until you get to know everyone five houses each side of you and the eleven across the road.


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