Oldham, Derker (Maureen Walsh): What happened next

Maureen and Terry Walsh were some of my favourite Streetfighters, and I’ve met them a number of times over the past five or so years. They spent seven years fighting to save their home and their neighbourhood from the bulldozers after Oldham Council announced plans to demolish hundreds of properties in Derker under its Housing Market Renewal scheme. When they finally admitted defeat in 2010 and began the process of purchasing another property, the rug was pulled from under them and acquisitions were stopped.

Terry died in January 2012, not long after they learned their home would be spared. It is a bittersweet victory for Maureen, whose community has vanished.

* Maureen also filled me in on the fate of a couple of other Derker residents who I have profiled on this site. Elijah, the war veteran in his 90s, moved into sheltered accommodation this year and his house has now been demolished. Joan Diggle recently moved into a new house near her brother in another part of Oldham.

Hear Maureen Walsh’s original interview

Joan Diggle’s interview

Elijah Debnam photofilm: A kick in the bricks 

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