Home Oral History Interview - Elvan Salih

Oral History Interview - Elvan Salih


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Audio recording of an oral history interview with Elvan Salih, who was born in Turkish Cyprus and lived for most of her life on the Nightingale Estate near Hackney Downs.

At the time of this interview, Elvan was on the Estate Development Committee, helping sort out problems on the estate.


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[0.00.13 - 0.00.36] Well we moved into the flats with my mum when I was ten, and after I got married I went to Stoke Newington. But I did a swap with this lady in Rathbone and so I came back and after they were going to do the redevelopment thing, they were going to fix up all the flats. They say do I want to come into the flats again? I go yeah, OK. So we chose the colours, what we wanted and I chose the Seaton Point.

[00.02.51 - 00.03.16] Seaton has really improved a lot and the men, the cleaner, cleans it, we don't have no rubbish on the cars. Hopefully it will stay that way. The lifts are clean, ‘cos whenever I see little boys that wanna play in the lifts, I say 'don't you dare do anything in it' Your on candid camera as well, so that puts them off. Otherwise it's OK.

[00.03.38 - 00.04.12] Estate Development Committee - it’s to do with what's going on in the estate, the cleaning, the cars. If we have any problems we tell them, or if anyone else has a problem, they come and tell us. The NRA - The Nightingale Residents Association - that one is about if anyone else has any problems. Like on a Friday there is a little project shop, downstairs next to the sweet shop. And I'm in there if the Turkish community don't know English, they come to me and I get an appointment from the office for them and just translate what they want.

[00.12.36 - 00.12: 48] I got used to the shops here, the people, I like the view, y'know from the window, all the little houses, the sky, everything. I love it. In a house you wouldn't be able to see nothing.

[00.15.38 - 00.15.58] I liked Nightingale and I liked the flats and I liked the people around it. So I thought I might as well come back. I get along with everybody so why not. Because we have a committee here as well. We go to meetings now. So I mix with them as well.

[00.24.23 - 00.25.13] When we first moved in there was a bit of a hassle, there was rubbish everywhere because no one there would move, they left them outside. So we had to discuss and have the meeting for them to put the rubbish themselves out, not to leave nothing on the landings. But it is not bad, hopefully we will get more, At least it is nice and quiet as you can see.

There are four flats on each floor, so I hope I will get to know all of them and as go up and down on the lift I met some other people and there was like this other man and he goes, I have seen you somewhere. And I go yeah in the lift. I say hello to everyone.

[00.25.48 - 00.26.09] I tell them that if there are any problems they can always let me know because what we want to do now is, we are bound to get some mistakes at Seaton Point with paint coming off the walls and this and that, and the damp. We have damp on the balcony. I got something to do a list and let me know and I can tell the council and get to know them even more.

[Track 2 - 00.02.24 - 00.02.44] ‘Cos I put notices up on the shop windows, notice on the office windows, and notices on the hairdressing shop, so there is a notice for them if they want to come. It just says if you need help.. or if you want to translate anything, if you need to phone somewhere, if you can't speak English and you need translation, come. And if I can help, I help.