Friday, 14 November 2014

My new home (Hanham Hall) #takeover

My family and I have a habit of being quite the movers, we don’t spend too long in the same area or even in the same region, moving to Bristol from the north about four years ago. For three of those last four years, we lived in Kingswood, an interesting area northeast of Bristol. But in August of last year moved about three miles down the road to a place called Hanham Hall.
As the name suggests, Hanham Hall is situated in Hanham. It’s a 10-minute walk from Longwell Green and is right next to a cycle path that runs along to Central Bristol, so in terms of transport and location it is ideal.

But you might have noticed that there is something slightly unusual about Hanham Hall, in that the houses don’t look like your usual Victorian semi-detached house that you’d find when you wander around Hanham.

Hanham Hall is a new type of housing development that is all about sustainability and being as green as possible. The whole ethos of the development is to use as little and to reuse as much as possible. Each house has access to a solar panel on the roof, to help reduce the amount of fossil fuel based electricity used by the residents. There is also an on-going drive for us to recycle as much of our waste possible which is supported by the strong sense of community that living here gives you.

When we moved in a year ago, construction was still going on, and so we got to watch each house go up, get finished and its new residents move in as part of our everyday routine. Every now and then over the course of the summer there would be a barbecue that all the residents, both new and incumbent, would be invited to. It felt like we were a family that was growing together. These small social meets were imperative in making sure that everyone knew each other and felt welcome here, which is why you would never walk past any residents here without saying “Good morning!” before grumbling about the weather in true English fashion and getting along on your way.  

The thing about living in a place like this is that you don’t quite realise how unusual it is, this is just something that happens after living here for so long. I’ve always forgotten about how weird this place is until one of my friends gives me a lift or comes over. I’ve had a mixed range of reactions, usually confusion quickly followed by sudden realisation that it is a pretty unique place. I think by far the most memorable reaction was when my friend’s dad said “the houses look like small ski-slopes!”.

The last year I’ve spent living here has been the most eventful and possibly the most important so far and so until we up sticks and move once more, I am happy to call Hanham Hall my home. 

This blog post was written by Shape My City participant    Hani Salih  @HaniDanikwoBear for #takeover




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