A PENSIONER who has lived in the same home for nearly 68 years is the longest-standing tenant of a housing association.
Enid Cottis, 93, and her husband Bert moved into their cottage in Lambourne Hall Road, Canewdon, in 1946 and nearly seven decades later, Mrs Cottis is still there.
The Lambourne Mead cottages were built for agricultural workers on the adjoining farm and, despite being a trained electrician, Bert took a job on the farm so they could secure one of the houses.
Mrs Cottis said: “I love the house and I love the garden.
It’s a lovely place to live.
“Nearly everything in my life has happened to me while I’ve been living in this house.
“There were six houses, all of them built for the labourers that used to work on the farm, and although they were small, they were perfect for us.”
Mrs Cottis served as a photostat operator for the Army Intelligence Corps in Cambridge and London during the Second World War, but returned to where she grew up in rural Essex in 1946.
The couple could not find a home initially, but struck lucky when the cottages were built.
Mrs Cottis added: “We had to stay at my mother’s for a while because we didn’t have anywhere of our own.”
During her 68 years in the cottage, Mrs Cottis has raised two children, Barry and Brian, and she has happy memories of pushing them to school on their bikes.
The council were initially responsible for Mrs Cottis’ cottage, but in 2007 Rochford Housing Association assumed management of the house – the longest tenancy they have ever inherited.
Despite her age Mrs Cottis is still active and travels about the district on a daily basis.
She said: “I love watching quizzes on the television to keep my brain ticking over, and I still go shopping in Southend and on the bus to see my sister in Rayleigh.”