Agenda item

Homes for Heroes: 100 Year Celebration - Andrew Kelly


Councillor Paul Smith gave a presentation on the plans to celebrate the 100 Year Celebration of The Addison Act “Homes for Heroes” legislation on behalf of Andrew Kelly, who was unable to attend.  He drew attention to the following points:


  • The Addison Act 1919 was a significant piece of legislation which resulted in the first council housing estates being constructed;
  • Bristol City Council was looking to mark this centenary and had approached Andrew Kelly (Bristol Festival of Ideas) due to his experience in organising this type of event;
  • Local events had already been planned to mark the occasion in the early council estates of Hillfields, Knowle West and Sea Mills and the celebration looked to build on these with a whole city approach;
  • A £80,000 bid for Heritage Lottery Funding had been successful and a further £80,000 had been identified from the Council’s Housing Revenue Account Budget along with additional funding from the Arts Council;
  • The celebration aimed to achieve:
    • Raising Awareness e.g. how the housing estates shaped the Bristol boundary;
    • Giving a voice to people who live in these communities;
    • Challenging negative stereotypes of council tenants;
    • Reclaiming the title “heroes” by identifying people living in social housing who contributed to their local communities.
  • The celebration would include a wide range of projects such as:
    • Hillfields project led by Local Learning including work in schools, library exhibition and a guided walking tour;
    • Knowle West project led by Knowle West Media Centre;
    • Sea mills project including a telephone box which would be used as a museum and a celebration of the tree that was planted to mark the building of the estate on 4 June 1919;
    • A new tree to be planted at the new housing estate being built in Ashton Vale;
    • Architecture Centre to use the celebration as part of Open Doors Day;
    • 50,000 copies of a graphical history of council housing was being produced and would be given out at various events and through libraries;
    • commissioning a book with short pieces by people who had grown up in council housing;
    • Producing a book with short walks around some of the estates;
    • A speculative project – looking at one of the original council houses being renovated as a 1920s house to be used as a temporary museum.


The following comments were raised;

  • Nowhere else in the country was celebrating the event on the same scale as Bristol;
  • The project could link with current veterans involved in the Community Self Build project;
  • A virtual reality project may work better than the speculative project to renovate a 1920s house as this would have the benefit of reaching a wider range of people, including school children;
  • Raising the voice of tenants would be a good legacy of the centenary celebrations;
  • New developments would be included as part of the scheme to engage the community on what council housing should be like in the future;
  • An event could tie in with the 50th anniversary of St Mungos;
  • Board members were invited to write a blog for the Festival of Ideas website.


The Board agreed to support the programme of events and in particular:

  • James Durie to raise with the Chamber of Commerce with a view to encouraging businesses to support the programme/sponsor events;
  • Alistair Allender to ask the Bristol Housing Partnership to connect with Housing Associations and in particular the ones that run accommodation in the 1920s estates;
  • Penny Walster to raise with Shelter at the national level.


Supporting documents: