Man returns from hospital to find entire new 178-house estate around his home

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Charlie Wright, 70, lived in the same house all his life in Ilchester Road, in Birkenhead. Around 20 years ago, Mr Wright refused to move elsewhere when the council offered residents £2,000 to give over their house for demolition.

Over the years, Mr Wright has witnessed the community be reduced to an area of open wasteland.

Mr Wright told the Liverpool Echo: “It didn’t bother me after they knocked it down.

“I used to go out every day with my dog, have my mates round.

“I could sit on the step here and foxes would come up and I used to feed them.

“I won’t move from here. My family has had this house for 100 years.

“It was my parents’ house and they raised their children here.

“Twenty-odd years ago they began pulling the estate down, and the council offered people £2,000 and a house to move to.

“I just said, ‘look this house is not up for sale.’

“Margaret Thatcher gave the ordinary person the right to buy their council house.

“There’s nothing to think about, this house will never be sold.

“The only way anyone will get their hands on this house will be when I’m six feet under.”

However, last year, a thug broke into his home and held a knife to his throat before bashing him over the head three times with a hammer.

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Due to the incident, Mr Wright was forced to spend almost a year in hospital and received treatment at a specialist brain unit.

Speaking of the attack, he said: “It doesn’t change the way I feel about living here. I’m never moving out of my house.

“Before this happened, I’d never had so much as a break-in in the 70 years I’ve lived here.

“Most of the memories are really good ones. I’m quite happy with myself.”

When he returned from hospital, Mr Wright was shocked to find a brand new housing estate with 178 homes had been built around his home.

Despite losing his isolation he once had, Mr Wright is not opposed to having new neighbours as it makes him feel “safer”.

He continued: “I’ve gone from living in a terraced house to a detached house with a driveway, so it’s paid off for me in the end.

“I’ve got neighbours now, after 20-odd years of being on my own.

“It makes me feel safer.”

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