Proud owner who refused to leave his old council house finds a new estate built around his house

A retiree who has stubbornly remained in his old city council says he feels safer now that a new housing estate has settled around him – after an intruder hit him three times with a hammer on the head last year.

Charlie Wright, 70, refused to allow developers to buy his childhood home in an estate in Wirral, even after his house was the last house standing in an open wasteland.

Over the years the Lonely House, with its Union Jack flying outside, was a familiar sight near Birkenhead North Station.

Now the house is individually owned with a new set of neighbors after a new estate of 178 houses has sprung up around it.

Mr Wright, who is still recovering from his burglar attack last December, was taken completely by surprise by the speed of development.

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Charlie Wright, 70, outside his home in Birkenhead where he stubbornly refused to leave -w with a new estate built around him

He said: “I had spent most of the last year in the hospital. When I left they said “Let’s go see your house”. I couldn’t believe it, I said, “look at all these houses here.”

Mr Wright is fiercely attached to the home where he grew up as the second youngest of nine children.

He said, ‘I won’t move from here. My family has owned this house for 100 years. It was my parents’ house and they raised their children here.

“About 20 years ago they started demolishing the estate and the council offered people £ 2,000 and a house to move into.

“I just said, ‘Look, this house is not for sale’. Margaret Thatcher gave the common person the right to buy her council house. There is nothing to think about, this house will never be sold.

“The only way anyone can get their hands on this house will be when I’m six feet under.” “

Mr Wright’s life was turned upside down when a thug broke into his house last December, put a knife to his throat while demanding money, then hit him three times on the head with a hammer.

He suffered life-changing injuries, including memory loss, and spent most of a year in hospital and then in a specialist brain injury unit.

Charlie Wright (center left) pictured with local MPs Frank Field and Lynda Chalker at the founding of the former River Streets social and sports club

Charlie Wright (center left) pictured with local MPs Frank Field and Lynda Chalker at the founding of the former River Streets social and sports club

Over the years Mr. Wright's now single-<a class=family home, with his Union Jack flying outside, has become a familiar sight near Birkenhead North Station” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%”/>

Over the years Mr. Wright’s now single-family home, with his Union Jack flying outside, has become a familiar sight near Birkenhead North Station

Mr Wright said: “It doesn’t change the way I experience life here. I never move out of my home. Before this happened, I had never had so much housebreaking in 70 years as I did. ‘lives here.

“Most of the memories are really good. I’m pretty happy with myself.

“I went from a townhouse to a detached house with a driveway, so it ended up paying off for me.

“I have neighbors now, after twenty years of being alone. It reassures me.

Mr. Wright was previously a founding member and chairman of the River Streets Community Association Ltd., established as a registered charity to advocate for the interests of residents then living on the former municipal estate of 600 homes.

The site of the old River Streets estate stood idle for years until a new 178-unit subdivision was created.
Mr Wright, pictured outside his home, where a new estate has sprung up around his now detached home

Before & After: The abandoned wasteland (left) in front of Mr. Wright’s house has now been replaced by a new estate of 178 houses (right)

He said: “We have successfully bid for government grants to fit out streets and houses, with new windows and doors. We had our own sports and social club, and had free meals on wheels for retirees. Everything worked perfectly.

With a job as a boilermaker at the nearby Mobil Oil site – where he worked his entire life – Mr. Wright’s horizons never extended far beyond the domain. Even a water trip to Liverpool was a rarity.

He said: “I have never had a vacation in my life. It never bothered me. Living around here, when it was the old estate, everyone knew each other. It was great, everyone got into it.

“It didn’t bother me after they knocked him down. I used to go out with my dog ​​every day, to bring my friends over. I could sit on the step here and the foxes would go up and I would feed them.

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