During the 70’s I worked as an electrician on some council house refurbishments around Bootle. The majority of the houses were occupied, some very well kept, some a bit untidy/homely/lived in and some where the occupants couldn’t care less. "It's not my house, why should I fix/paint it".
Although these houses were done “en bloc” as streets at a time there were a few tenants who would not let “the men” in, and eventually they had to be done later as one offs as the council put enforcement notices on them. I had the misfortune to have to go back on a couple of these and I came to the conclusion it was because they didn’t want anyone to see the way they lived.
One I went to there was no answer at 8am but I knew they were in. I went for a cuppa at a local café and went back almost an hour later. I knocked again and shouted through the letter box. Through the letterbox I noticed a toddler came to the top of the stairs, he stood there for a few moments then just pee’d. Eventually someone got up and let me in.
There was a stale smell to the house. Dirty dishes left out, clothes strewn around the floor, I really didn’t want to be there.
The first thing to be done was to put holes in the ceiling where the new light positions were going and I usually did this with a brush pole. I did the lobby, the living room then went into the kitchen. Now these houses originally had the bathroom off one side of the kitchen and the toilet on the other side, although the door being outside, and these were to be knocked into one bigger kitchen and the bathroom/toilet put upstairs. The new kitchen light positions (2 off) were in these to be knocked down rooms so I went in the bathroom with my brush pole, pulled on the pull cord to turn on the light but nothing came on and then got an awful whiff of something. I quickly knocked a hole in the ceiling in the dark and got out and closed the door. Then I went to go outside to put the other hole in the toilet ceiling and when I opened the rear door I could not get out. There was a door (the outside toilet one) laying sideways across the doorway to stop all the rubbish they had been throwing into the garden from piling back into the kitchen. I thought to myself “how do they get to the toilet” then that answered the question on the smell in the bathroom.
I stood in the street wondering why I should have to work in this sh1thole. I rang my boss complaining and he just said it had to be done and just to take my time, come in late and go home early, and so I persevered. There were other trades turning up now and we just had to laugh it off and wonder why people live like this. Nice big new tv, new sofa, cider bottles, More* cigarette packets everywhere (was told they had redundancy money from MDHB), and the kids were walking around in rags. The parents being a bit bragging (ale talk) in their talk.

Upstairs in the bedroom the foam back from the carpet was stuck to the floor and was wet in places. When I used the electric saw on the floorboards steam came out and stunk of boiled wee.

When the builders came to remove the bath my thoughts were confirmed, they had been sh1tting in the bath.


Other findings elswhere.
Groping for a wire under the bedroom floor I have pulled out a pair of sh1t up underpants.
To put them there would entail rolling back the carpet and the lino and then prising up a nailed down board. Why not put them in the bin.

Getting into a loft there were a load of used sanitary towels around the access. I could imagine the person lifting the hatch with a brushpole in one hand and with the other trying to aim these towels through the gap. I wonder how accurate her aim was and how many goes it took.


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That reminds me, anyone know anything about antiques?
I found some old sanitary towels in the loft and wondered what period they were from.
Boom boom.
Used condoms poked through into the air vents in the bedroom.
Used sanitary towels behind the hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard.

The remains of a dog under the living room floor. (Neighbours remember them having one.)


*
More is a brand of cigarette which was originally marketed to both men and women and then changed its primary focus to women consumers. It typically has a dark brown (rather than the traditional white) wrapper and is typically 120 mm in length. The More brand does, however produce shorter versions with the typical white wrapper and white or cork filters.
The brand was introduced nationally by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in June 1975. It was initially tested in Oklahoma City in 1974. 'More' was the first successful 120 mm cigarette. It is sold in both the full flavor and menthol flavors. It is currently considered a niche brand by RJR, still sold, but not promoted by advertising. It is sold globally under license to various other tobacco companies under the title of More International. The brand was expanded to include 'light' styles in the form of both brown and white 120 mm. and a beige 100 The brand is currently a product of JT International (JTI), in the EU