Fri, 19 Aug 2016
A NEW set of affordable homes in Thatcham will be named after a women’s rights campaigner from the town.
Sovereign housing has demolished Taceham House and is replacing it with 10 homes.
The houses and flats will be available for local people at affordable rent. West Berkshire Council asked residents to suggest names for the new build and Munro House has been chosen.
Anna Munro (1881-1962) championed women’s votes as part of the suffrage movement until it disbanded in 1962.
As well as working tirelessly for women’s rights around the world, Mrs Munro was one of the first women councillors to be appointed to the parish council in 1919.
Originally from Scotland, she moved to Park Farm in Thatcham where she started her family. Thatcham historian Nick Young said: “Although not born locally, Anna Munro had a big impact on the community.
“Thatcham has a rich history; we celebrate a lot in the road and place names around the town.
“However, we tend to forget about the women in our history and I think that is something we should change. Anna fought for change, she fought for women to be recognised, so what better way than to start recognising the great women in our history than her?”
Taceham House was used as temporary accommodation until 2009, when it became unsuitable to house people. It has lain empty since then.
The council sold the building to Sovereign housing for £1 in 2015 following the completion of a prolonged deal.
Sovereign’s executive director for housing and communities, Heather Bowman, said: “It seems fitting to name the new flats after such a renowned local campaigner.
“We hope that Munro House will help shape the community while creating much-needed affordable homes for the residents of Thatcham for generations to come.”
Residents submitted 18 suggestions for the new building, with five relating to Mrs Munro.
West Berkshire Council’s executive for housing, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley), said: “Five people each used Anna Munro as their suggestion, so she is clearly someone local people feel strongly about and I hope that Munro House changes lives just as Anna Munro herself did.”
Other suggestions included Victoria House, in recognition of Thatcham’s three Victoria Cross recipients; Waring Court, after distinguished army officer Richard Waring; and Hope House in recognition of the hope given to someone’s parents when they moved into Taceham House in the 1990s having lost everything in the recession.
Development of the 10 new homes is expected to be completed later this month.