Enid’s home sweet home for 68 years

Enid Cottis with washing line

Enid Cottis with washing line

First published in Echo News by

A PENSIONER who has lived in the same home for nearly 68 years is the longest-standing tenant of a housing association.

Enid Cottis, 93, and her husband Bert moved into their cottage in Lambourne Hall Road, Canewdon, in 1946 and nearly seven decades later, Mrs Cottis is still there.

The Lambourne Mead cottages were built for agricultural workers on the adjoining farm and, despite being a trained electrician, Bert took a job on the farm so they could secure one of the houses.

Mrs Cottis said: “I love the house and I love the garden.

It’s a lovely place to live.

“Nearly everything in my life has happened to me while I’ve been living in this house.

“There were six houses, all of them built for the labourers that used to work on the farm, and although they were small, they were perfect for us.”

Mrs Cottis served as a photostat operator for the Army Intelligence Corps in Cambridge and London during the Second World War, but returned to where she grew up in rural Essex in 1946.

The couple could not find a home initially, but struck lucky when the cottages were built.

Mrs Cottis added: “We had to stay at my mother’s for a while because we didn’t have anywhere of our own.”

During her 68 years in the cottage, Mrs Cottis has raised two children, Barry and Brian, and she has happy memories of pushing them to school on their bikes.

The council were initially responsible for Mrs Cottis’ cottage, but in 2007 Rochford Housing Association assumed management of the house – the longest tenancy they have ever inherited.

Despite her age Mrs Cottis is still active and travels about the district on a daily basis.

She said: “I love watching quizzes on the television to keep my brain ticking over, and I still go shopping in Southend and on the bus to see my sister in Rayleigh.”

Comments (12)

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6:54pm Tue 22 Apr 14

sesibollox says...

Had it easy then...
Had it easy then... sesibollox
  • Score: -14

7:15pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Evilgenius75 says...

Nice big house that. Would suit a family of four quite well. When's she moving?
Nice big house that. Would suit a family of four quite well. When's she moving? Evilgenius75
  • Score: -9

11:10pm Tue 22 Apr 14

LoopyLou88 says...

It's lovely seeing stories like this made me go awwwww. leave her be shes happy there.
It's lovely seeing stories like this made me go awwwww. leave her be shes happy there. LoopyLou88
  • Score: 8

2:17am Wed 23 Apr 14

emcee says...

It is great to hear that this lady has had the same home for most of her adult life. However, this will now become an increasingly rare thing and it is very unlikely that any future generations can look forward to the same privilage as more and more Government and Local Government rules and regulations ensure that nobody will ever be able to have a rented home for life.
Its all well and nice to be able to buy your own home and set you and your family up for life in the same home for however long you wish but there are less opportunities for up and coming generations to do so as each year passes, be it because of increasing house prices or decreasing wages, and more people are being forced to spend their life in rented accommodation. Yet it these people who are penalised, more often through no fault of their own, by being shoved from pillar to post until they drop dead.
And then you find that people wonder why our communities are fragmenting and disolving away.
It is great to hear that this lady has had the same home for most of her adult life. However, this will now become an increasingly rare thing and it is very unlikely that any future generations can look forward to the same privilage as more and more Government and Local Government rules and regulations ensure that nobody will ever be able to have a rented home for life. Its all well and nice to be able to buy your own home and set you and your family up for life in the same home for however long you wish but there are less opportunities for up and coming generations to do so as each year passes, be it because of increasing house prices or decreasing wages, and more people are being forced to spend their life in rented accommodation. Yet it these people who are penalised, more often through no fault of their own, by being shoved from pillar to post until they drop dead. And then you find that people wonder why our communities are fragmenting and disolving away. emcee
  • Score: 11

12:36pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Evilgenius75 says...

In this day and age I honestly don't see how people can bring themselves to like stories like this. There are families living in bedsits whilst on waiting lists for homes and it is seen as a good thing that people who no longer need larger properties which are either rented from or subsidised by the public purse whilst others are forced to live in cramped conditions. I know I sound harsh but it's just the way it is. I'd also point out that a great many home owners downsize when their children move out due to financial constraints and the difficulties of running a larger property. So why shouldn't tenants also do the same?
In this day and age I honestly don't see how people can bring themselves to like stories like this. There are families living in bedsits whilst on waiting lists for homes and it is seen as a good thing that people who no longer need larger properties which are either rented from or subsidised by the public purse whilst others are forced to live in cramped conditions. I know I sound harsh but it's just the way it is. I'd also point out that a great many home owners downsize when their children move out due to financial constraints and the difficulties of running a larger property. So why shouldn't tenants also do the same? Evilgenius75
  • Score: -4

1:24pm Wed 23 Apr 14

emcee says...

Evilgenius75 wrote:
In this day and age I honestly don't see how people can bring themselves to like stories like this. There are families living in bedsits whilst on waiting lists for homes and it is seen as a good thing that people who no longer need larger properties which are either rented from or subsidised by the public purse whilst others are forced to live in cramped conditions. I know I sound harsh but it's just the way it is. I'd also point out that a great many home owners downsize when their children move out due to financial constraints and the difficulties of running a larger property. So why shouldn't tenants also do the same?
Homeowners do, indeed, downsize when they "choose" to do so, and that is the point. Tenants, more often than not, do not have that choice, they are told what they must or must not do and rarely have the opportunity to truely set down roots.
Tenants are given very few rights in this country. On the continent renting is far more common (in many cases it is preferred) and the rights of tenants are given more consideration. After all, it makes for a more content society knowing that they can settle in one place if they so wish. However, in this country, too much empahasis is given on owning property and the Government panders to the homeowner. However, renting through necessity is on the increase to the point where private home ownership could end up as a small minoirity section of society. Sooner or later society will need to adapt to take this into account otherwise we will see no more tenants like Mrs Cottis and no more "communities".
[quote][p][bold]Evilgenius75[/bold] wrote: In this day and age I honestly don't see how people can bring themselves to like stories like this. There are families living in bedsits whilst on waiting lists for homes and it is seen as a good thing that people who no longer need larger properties which are either rented from or subsidised by the public purse whilst others are forced to live in cramped conditions. I know I sound harsh but it's just the way it is. I'd also point out that a great many home owners downsize when their children move out due to financial constraints and the difficulties of running a larger property. So why shouldn't tenants also do the same?[/p][/quote]Homeowners do, indeed, downsize when they "choose" to do so, and that is the point. Tenants, more often than not, do not have that choice, they are told what they must or must not do and rarely have the opportunity to truely set down roots. Tenants are given very few rights in this country. On the continent renting is far more common (in many cases it is preferred) and the rights of tenants are given more consideration. After all, it makes for a more content society knowing that they can settle in one place if they so wish. However, in this country, too much empahasis is given on owning property and the Government panders to the homeowner. However, renting through necessity is on the increase to the point where private home ownership could end up as a small minoirity section of society. Sooner or later society will need to adapt to take this into account otherwise we will see no more tenants like Mrs Cottis and no more "communities". emcee
  • Score: 5

5:40pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Living the La Vida Legra says...

How has this been aloud to happen
Beggers belief a bedsit would be more suitable
It fricken makes my blood boil (#howToWasteMyTaxMon
ey)
How has this been aloud to happen Beggers belief a bedsit would be more suitable It fricken makes my blood boil (#howToWasteMyTaxMon ey) Living the La Vida Legra
  • Score: -2

5:57pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Evilgenius75 says...

Most homeowners don't downsize through choice it is usually done through financial necessity. It is a sad reflection on the entitled attitude that some of those who live off the rest of us. Of course there are advantages to owning your own home and so there should be otherwise there would be no point in bothering to own one. Far to many people are allowed to keep publicly funded homes way past the point at which they need them for sentimental reasons at the expense of those in genuine need. This to me hardly seems to be a thing to be celebrated.
Most homeowners don't downsize through choice it is usually done through financial necessity. It is a sad reflection on the entitled attitude that some of those who live off the rest of us. Of course there are advantages to owning your own home and so there should be otherwise there would be no point in bothering to own one. Far to many people are allowed to keep publicly funded homes way past the point at which they need them for sentimental reasons at the expense of those in genuine need. This to me hardly seems to be a thing to be celebrated. Evilgenius75
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Rayleigh mum says...

Living the La Vida Legra wrote:
How has this been aloud to happen
Beggers belief a bedsit would be more suitable
It fricken makes my blood boil (#howToWasteMyTaxMon

ey)
and where does it say she is living off your tax money ie housing benefit? This lady (it sounds like) has lived in her HOME for years and why should she leave just because you think she would be better off in a bedsit!!!!? Just because she is on her own now does not mean that she should be uprooted from her neighbourhood to a smaller place. it sounds as if it is a 2 bed house, as she had 2 sons, so most of the families on the list would not want it anyhow.
[quote][p][bold]Living the La Vida Legra[/bold] wrote: How has this been aloud to happen Beggers belief a bedsit would be more suitable It fricken makes my blood boil (#howToWasteMyTaxMon ey)[/p][/quote]and where does it say she is living off your tax money ie housing benefit? This lady (it sounds like) has lived in her HOME for years and why should she leave just because you think she would be better off in a bedsit!!!!? Just because she is on her own now does not mean that she should be uprooted from her neighbourhood to a smaller place. it sounds as if it is a 2 bed house, as she had 2 sons, so most of the families on the list would not want it anyhow. Rayleigh mum
  • Score: 3

6:39pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Evilgenius75 says...

emcee wrote:
Evilgenius75 wrote:
In this day and age I honestly don't see how people can bring themselves to like stories like this. There are families living in bedsits whilst on waiting lists for homes and it is seen as a good thing that people who no longer need larger properties which are either rented from or subsidised by the public purse whilst others are forced to live in cramped conditions. I know I sound harsh but it's just the way it is. I'd also point out that a great many home owners downsize when their children move out due to financial constraints and the difficulties of running a larger property. So why shouldn't tenants also do the same?
Homeowners do, indeed, downsize when they "choose" to do so, and that is the point. Tenants, more often than not, do not have that choice, they are told what they must or must not do and rarely have the opportunity to truely set down roots.
Tenants are given very few rights in this country. On the continent renting is far more common (in many cases it is preferred) and the rights of tenants are given more consideration. After all, it makes for a more content society knowing that they can settle in one place if they so wish. However, in this country, too much empahasis is given on owning property and the Government panders to the homeowner. However, renting through necessity is on the increase to the point where private home ownership could end up as a small minoirity section of society. Sooner or later society will need to adapt to take this into account otherwise we will see no more tenants like Mrs Cottis and no more "communities".
Well the fact that the article says it's a housing association house answers one of your questions and secondly even if it's only 2 bed it has a huge garden and would do quite nicely for a family with 2 kids of the same sex.
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Evilgenius75[/bold] wrote: In this day and age I honestly don't see how people can bring themselves to like stories like this. There are families living in bedsits whilst on waiting lists for homes and it is seen as a good thing that people who no longer need larger properties which are either rented from or subsidised by the public purse whilst others are forced to live in cramped conditions. I know I sound harsh but it's just the way it is. I'd also point out that a great many home owners downsize when their children move out due to financial constraints and the difficulties of running a larger property. So why shouldn't tenants also do the same?[/p][/quote]Homeowners do, indeed, downsize when they "choose" to do so, and that is the point. Tenants, more often than not, do not have that choice, they are told what they must or must not do and rarely have the opportunity to truely set down roots. Tenants are given very few rights in this country. On the continent renting is far more common (in many cases it is preferred) and the rights of tenants are given more consideration. After all, it makes for a more content society knowing that they can settle in one place if they so wish. However, in this country, too much empahasis is given on owning property and the Government panders to the homeowner. However, renting through necessity is on the increase to the point where private home ownership could end up as a small minoirity section of society. Sooner or later society will need to adapt to take this into account otherwise we will see no more tenants like Mrs Cottis and no more "communities".[/p][/quote]Well the fact that the article says it's a housing association house answers one of your questions and secondly even if it's only 2 bed it has a huge garden and would do quite nicely for a family with 2 kids of the same sex. Evilgenius75
  • Score: 0

7:39pm Wed 23 Apr 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Hell of a long washing line for the one tea towel, a womans work is never done...
Hell of a long washing line for the one tea towel, a womans work is never done... carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 1

12:19am Thu 24 Apr 14

Living the La Vida Legra says...

This is what is wrong with social housing!
This is what is wrong with social housing! Living the La Vida Legra
  • Score: -2

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