One pensioner, who remained in ex-council housing for years says that it is safer to live in the new estate. This comes after an intrusion struck him with three punches on his head in 2013.

Charlie Wright (70) refused to let developers purchase his Wirral childhood home, even though it was one of the few remaining houses in open land. 

The Union Jack flew outside the house and it became a common sight in the vicinity of Birkenhead North station over the years.

After a new, larger, 178-home estate was created around the property, it is now a separate house with its own set of neighbors.

Wright is still recovering after his burglary attack last December. He was completely taken by surprise by the rapidity of development.  

Charlie Wright, 70, outside his home in Birkenhead where he has doggedly refused to leave -w with a new estate built around him

Charlie Wright (70) outside Birkenhead, where he stubbornly refuses to move -w, with a new estate around him

He stated that he had spent the majority of his time in hospital. They told me to go see my house after I was done. It was unbelievable to me. I replied, “Look at these houses.”

Wright has a strong attachment to his childhood home. He was the second-youngest of nine children. 

He replied, “I won’t leave here.” It has been home to my family for more than 100 years. My parents owned it and raised my children there.

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

“I said that this house was not for sale. Margaret Thatcher granted the common person the ability to purchase their council home. This house is not for sale.

“There is no way that anyone can get this house except if they are six feet beneath me.”

The life of Mr Wright was altered when a man broke into his home last December and held a knife to the throat, demanded money, then struck him with a hammer three times.

The injuries he sustained were life-altering, with memory impairment. He spent nearly a full year in hospital, then at a unit for brain injuries.

Charlie Wright (centre left) pictured with local MPs Frank Field and Lynda Chalker when the former River Streets estate sports and social club was being set up

Charlie Wright, centre left (pictured with Frank Field and Lynda Chaker as the River Streets Estate sports and social club were being established).

Over the years, Mr Wright's now-detached house, with its Union Jack flying outside, has been a familiar sight near Birkenhead North station

The Union Jack has been flying out of Mr Wright’s detached house near Birkenhead North station for many years.

Wright declared that ‘It doesn’t change how I feel about living in this house. I won’t be moving from my house. In the 70 years that I lived in this house, I had never experienced a break-in.

“Most memories are very good. I am very happy with my self.

I’ve moved from my terraced house into a detached house with driveway. So it has paid off in the end.

“I have neighbours after twenty-odd year of living on my own. This makes me feel more secure.

Wright, a former chairman and founding member of River Streets Community Association Ltd. This registered charity was established to protect the rights of residents who lived on the 600-home estate.

Mr Wright, pictured outside his home, where a new estate has sprung up all around his now-detached house

Photograph of Mr Wright outside his house, which has seen a new estate built all around it. 

He stated that he had won government grants for the construction of new houses and streets, as well as windows and doors. Our own social and sports club was established, as well as free meals on wheels to the elderly. It was all running perfectly.

Charlie started his working life as a Boilerman at nearby Mobil Oil. His horizons were never limited by the job. It was rare to even make it across the Atlantic to Liverpool.

His response was: “I’ve never been on a vacation in all my life.” I have never found it bothersome. It was great to live around here when the old estate was still in existence. Everyone knew each other. Everyone was involved.

“It didn’t bother me after the guys knocked it out. Every day I went out with my dog. Now, it’s just me and my friends. The foxes used to come and feed me, and I was able to sit here on the steps.