Moving into a new home has literally been like a blast from the past for Joe and Eunice Davison.
The couple’s home is on almost exactly the same spot where they first met just over 50 years ago at the Berry Edge steelworks in Consett.
Joe and Eunice opened their home for viewing at the recent official opening of Durham Aged Mineworkers Homes’ Association’s 30-home development at St James Court, Regent’s Park, Consett.
The homes have been built as part of The Genesis Project, which is seeing over £150 million being spent to transform the former Consett steelworks site into a development consisting of homes, shops, parks and offices.
Joe, 77, said: “Eunice and I met whilst working in the offices of the steelworks and when we moved in we realised our new home was pretty much on the same spot, which is incredible.
“I remember when the steelworks closed in 1980 and what a devastating impact it had on the community, so to see it now providing new homes for local people is fantastic.
“We couldn’t be happier with our bungalow. Given our history with the site and even though we lived in Consett before moving here, it feels like we have come home.”
DAMHA’s two-bedroom bungalows are the first and only almshouses which will be built on the Berry Edge site. The Association has invested £3 million in the development, with £500,000 of this coming in the form of a grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.
Irene and Chris Anderson, who are also living in one of the DAMHA homes, added: “If we had sat down to design our own bungalow this is the one we would have come up with, so it’s perfect.”
The guest of honour at the opening ceremony was Gordon Gray, former Chief Executive of DAMHA.
He said: “I have been involved in the opening of many developments in my time and I can safely say it’s one of the best. To be asked to open a scheme like this is a great accolade and I hope the residents enjoy living in such amazing homes.”
Current DAMHA Chief Executive Paul Mullis said: “We are very proud to be part of the regeneration of the Berry Edge steelworks. DAMHA exists to build homes and communities and this is a great example of what can be achieved by working in partnership.”