Letter from GLC, Head of Housing Services, B.R.Steele, MA DPhil, County Hall (HG/L/DO), to MR R COBBING, 262 RANDOLPH AVENUE LONDON W9 (Housing reference No. L/A11020958) informing tenants of their registration for alternative accommodation, and inviting them to update the council of circumstances and wishes. Tenants are advised to register with “Mutual Exchange Bureau.”
Letter to B.R.Steele, from R W Cobbing, in response to letter of N156NT/1983/GLC/001, stating no wish for the proposed alternative accommodation, and setting out history of renovation and re-housing since 1981. Proposal is made to vacate specific parts of the premises where interior renovation might be needed.
Unsent (?) letter from JP to GLC (“Mrs Fitsgibbon”). Mention is made of JP’s kiln (the suggested “fire-hazard”), necessary and “considerably safer than open domestic fire”. This letter ends abruptly and based on evidence of N156NT/1983/GLC/005, it was probably unsent (subsequent letters speak of numerous unfinished attempts – hence the representation by Paddington Advice and Law).
Copy of N156NT/1983/GLC/004 Abrupt end is continued by hand.
Copy of N156NT/1983/GLC/004
Letter from BC/JP to GLC. Addition to letter of N156NT/1983/GLC/002 and wife’s letter, “enclosed” (not present) explaining the three organisations for which 262 Randolph Ave. acts as headquarters, receiving letters, calls and callers (3500) every year. Said organisations are recorded in many international reference books, and a move would necessitate innumerable corrections to these – minimised by a move to a building in the same street. Typed sheet (and cc.) adds to this, her husbands note that all work for the organisations mentioned is voluntary.
Letter from JP to GLC setting out the various reasons for the reluctance to move from 262 Randolph Avenue (unanswered letter referred to in **?). Explaining the couple’s age and (lack of distinction between) living and working situations, and the need to do both in the same space, in particular: the inability to be allocated less space. Suggestions are made for alternative spatial situations. Particular note is made at end of the construction of bed/ book-shelf unit in relation to current house’s structure – in response to visit by a “Mr. Levy”.
cc. of N156NT/1983/GLC/009
Letter from Ken Livingstone, Member of the GLC for Paddington, Leader of the Council, to Mr. Cobbing, following consultation with the Head of Housing Services, in acknowledgement of recent correspondence (10/5/83 and 15/5/1983), and apologising for delay in responding, though pointing out that points are under consideration and that officers have visited Mr. Cobbing to further discuss particular housing needs. The letter confirms that Nos 252-262 Randolph Avenue are included in the Council’s rehabilitation programme, and while works are being carried out, tenants cannot be in occupation. The assertion is also made that no-one representing the Housing service may have said that this work was only external. It is assured that suitable accommodation will be found for Mr. and Mrs. Cobbing’s specialised printing and other equipment. A temporary move is not possible since the conversion of the basement will produce four-bedroom dwellings, Mr. & Mrs. Cobbing are acknowledged as two people. Head of Housing Services will be in touch.
Note pp. Ken Livingstone, Member of the GLC for Paddington, Leader of the Council, to Mr. & Mrs. R. Cobbing, in acknowledgement of recent correspondence, and that the author has started making enquiries and will report outcomes as soon as possible.
Annotation by JP to GLC (“Mrs Fitsgibbon”, corrected by hand) describing this as cover letter to letter of 27/3/84 of Paddington Advice and Law Centre. Short letter summarising points made in previous draft (?) to GLC ***
From JP to GLC, “Mrs Fitsbibbon” cc. of N156NT/1983/GLC/013
Paddington Advice and Law Centre (reception) to Head of Housing Services, GLC, regarding proposed decanting of tenants from 262 Randolph Avenue, London W9, a 2 bedroom & 2 living room dwelling where they have been living since 1964. It sets out the couple’s professional status, making clear that much of the work carried out in the house is a (serious) hobby, from which no income is generated. The living situation is further described, with Mr. Cobbing’s mother having recently moved out of no. 262 and into a nursing home (at the expense of £100 a week, an expense adding to the need to take mother back in) since conflicts and tensions led to Ms Cobbing having a nervous breakdown. Visits in May and June 1983 advised the Cobbings of a move by July 1984, and alternative, nearby accommodation was discussed. Nothing further was heard until December 1983 when Ms. Cobbing phoned the GLC, only to find out from Ms. Fitzgibbon that the legal proceedings were in place relating to an alleged breach of tenancy by the Cobbings, whilst their use of the dwelling has not changed since 1964. This shock of this has been deleterious to Ms Cobbing’s health. Paddington Law and Advice Centre ask for clarification.
Paddington Advice and Law Centre (reception) to Head of Housing Services, GLC. Correction of draft N156NT/1983/GLC/015
Draft of a letter from JP to GLC (“mrs F”) explaining the curt, legal and possibily threatening tone of the Paddington Advice and Law Centre (2/2/1984), and espressing the wish to be co-operative. Concluding that “the flat is our way of LIVING” various distinctions are made between descriptions of the living and (professional and non-professional) working situations of the author and her husband, most of which are made with no financial consideration. Which is all more bearable than having no knowledge of their future accommodation, and although the GLC might not acknowledge their artistic contributions, they might acknowledge what it must be like to live with the “hiatus”. Further psychological and spiritual explanation is given for discomfort, followed by reports of unannounced and impolite meetings with various officers. Explanation is then given for mother-in-law: since other members of the family pay for the nursing home, the reason for not having her back is not financial but to save them costs. However, the current situation has made this unthinkable (“my husband and his mother seem hell-bent on destroying each other for the best possible motives”), let alone consider a long term solution. (this letter is later described as “letter ‘A'”***)
Letter from Ken Livingstone, Member of the GLC for Paddington, Leader of the Council to Mrs. Cobbing, following consultation with the Head of Housing Services, in acknowledgement of recent correspondence (20/10/1983), and apologising for delay in accomplishing rehousing and vacation of the present flat by her and her husband, within the particular requirements of their live-work situation. It is also in acknowledgement of the urgency of this rehabilitation – since work is already underway with regard to tenants of adjoining houses. Suggestion is made for meeting between Mrs. Cobbing, her husband and the officers concerned, in order to ascertain what type of accommodation is needed to continue activities in conjunction with living accommodation.The letter goes on to report that two solutions brought forward in Mrs Cobbing’s previous correspondence have been deemed unsuitable by Head of Housing services. The Head of Housing Services will be in touch forthwith, and keep KL informed.
photocopy of N156NT/1983/GLC/020
photocopy of N156NT/1983/GLC/020
Letter from JP to “Mr Livingstone” re: N156NT/1983/GLC/020, expressing willingness to attend meeting to answer questions concerning the use of present accommodation. The letter goes on to state that their “LIVES”, not “livelihood” are threatened, and attempts to explain their non-commercial “‘way of Living'”.
Letter from GLC, Housing Dept., Head of Housing Services, B R Steele MA PhD (Miss P.M. Fitzgibbon) to Paddington Advice and Law Centre. It has been noted that Mr and Mrs Cobbings’ craft hobbies have expanded to beyond ordinary residential use, presenting problems for the present and future accommodations, as well as a possible fire hazard (caused by presence of kiln, as understood from subsequent correspondence). These effects on the conditions of tenancy were pointed out in conversation between the author and Mrs Cobbing. No mention of consulting solicitors regarding “breach of tenancy” was made. The couple’s anxieties are understood, and that the proposed meeting might resolve these.
London Property Register, Small Workspace Allocation. List of premises (and contacts) suitable for wokshops, studios etc. Published by GLC, Industry and Employment Branch.
Letter from GLC, Housing Dept., Head of Housing Services, B R Steele MA PhD (Mrs. B. S. Kenny) to Mr. and Mrs Cobbing, summarising the meeting of 4/12/1984, and its possible outcomes. Maisonette (lower and gd floors, Highbury, N5) is offered. It is recommended that Mr. & Mrs Cobbing visit, if only to as indication of the most desirable propert that might be offered to them.
Standard letter pp. GLC, Valuation and Estates Dept., Director P.W.J. Leigh FRICS informing of lack of suitable premises at present. Notes on rear of telephone and reference of Mike Dodsworth of GLC, Valuation and Estates Dept
Addition to letter of 5/10/1983 (to GLC, Housing Dept., Head of Housing Services, B R Steele MA PhD (Mrs. B. S. Kenny)) and wife’s letter, “enclosed” (not present) explaining the three organisations for which 262 Randolph Ave. acts as headquarters, receiving letters, calls and callers (3500) every year. Said organisations are recorded in many international reference books, and a move would necessitate innumerable corrections to these – minimised by a move to a building in the same street. Typed sheet (and cc.) adds to this, her husbands note that all work for the organisations mentioned is voluntary.
Letter from British Telecom to Mr. RW Cobbing, in acknowledgement of application for telecommunication service at 89a Petherton Road, London N5 2QT, no. 01–226 2657
Photocopy of 3 payment advice slips from I.L.E.A. to Miss J Pike (dated 4/12/1984 – £294.12 net for 36hrs, 4/26/1984 – £881.52 net for 96hrs, 6/7/1984 – £194.40 net for 1hr)
Powers Available to the Council under the Inner Urban Areas Act 1978, Appendix I, Sections 2 – 11 list loans and/or grants given with regard to renovation and regeneration of “improvement areas”.
cc. of letter “NOT for reading” from JP to therapist (?), yet expanding on (recipient’s response to) previous typed letter/ draft (N156NT/1983/GLC/004) that medical aspects it mentions need not be used in negotiation with GLC. Goes on to speak of problems caused with (brother in law) Ken regarding the mention to GLC of the family’s payment of mother-in-law (“Ma”)’s nursing home costs.
Plastic folder containing handwritten notes (in JP’s hand) pertaining to correspondence concerning re-housing of 1983/4. 1. Calculations of joint income and rent allowance; 2. Calculations of income from term’s (“8 weeks”) teaching?; 3. Notes of names and telephone numbers of GLC (incl. Mrs Kenny and Miss Fitzgibbon) employees; 4. What seem like notes to two letters, containing (recto) pros and cons of Ma returning to live with Bob & Jennifer, and (verso) notes describing the author’s mental and physical circumstances; 5. Contains the words “OUT OF DATE” 6. Presumed notes to letter ‘A’** describing the author’s mental and physical circumstances. 7. Subject headings radiate out from the the words “GLC rough headings” in centre of pages. 8. Christmas card “Merry Christmas, Don’t work too hard, love from David Sue and Chris [?]” covered on 3 sides with handwritten notes; 10. 4 pages of notes, mainly concerned with position of “Ma” in the re-housing; 11. Notes on business expenses; 12. Notes on professional situation and reason for writing to Ken Livingstone; 13.