H is for Heygate Tenants GuideAs well as six 13 amp plugs and the keys to a brand new luxury flat, the earliest residents of the newly completed Heygate Estate were presented with the Tenants Handbook.
This booklet was an ‘idiot’s guide’ to operating the lifts and the central heating; cleaning windows; connecting the television aerial and obtaining a garage. It also contained a section on using the incinerators dotted around the estate. The charge for hot water was included in the rent and tenants were requested to use it economically. Originally each household was issued with a single refuse sack that was expected to last them a whole week! Each collection day the dustmen provided a new sack for the next seven days. The section in the guide on ‘Care of Baths’ is interesting: “It is advisable to always run some cold water before turning on the hot tap, as hot water suddenly hitting the bath may damage the enamel. Bath salts, if desired, should be added while the bath is filling, and may be thoroughly dissolved by stirring. The bath should always be cleaned immediately after use with hot soapy water, and the bath wiped dry while the water is running out and the bath still warm.” All rather patronising …until you consider that many of the folks moving into these modern homes had never had a bathroom before.