Pages 12 – 14

Apr 21st, 2011 | Filed under Part 1: The Problems

The Cherry Tree / Beech / Willow Roads estate

Some of the origins of the trends described above can be seen in a detailed study of this new estate. This one was chosen because it was the first large estate (124 houses) of semi-detached, three bedroom houses to be built in Chinnor, starting in late 1963.

A sample of 73 households gives the following figures, most of which speak for themselves:

  1. The average age of all adults = 33.9 years.

    But only three households in this sample contain adults over the age of 40 and excluding these:

  2. The average age of the adults in the remaining 70 households = 27.8 years.
  3. The average number of children = 1.4 per family.
  4. The average size of family = 3.4 members.
  5. Almost all the children are under 10 and a majority of these are under 5.

With this low average age of the parents it is likely that both 3. and 4. will increase in the next ten years (also remarked above).

However, the rate of turnover in these houses is also increasing, from 1 in 30 households per year in 1967 to 1 in 14.2 households per year in 1968. Of the changes only one quarter was in the years 1964 to 1967 inclusive but three quarters were in 1968 alone. Some of these families have merely removed to elsewhere in the village or neighbourhood in search of a larger or different kind of house but most removals have been for emigration or for posting on business promotion.

An interesting observation is the variation in the conception rate during the year which appears when the rate for the whole of Chinnor and its hamlets is charted. Averaged for the corresponding months in each of the last four years the number of conceptions each month appears as follows:

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These are presumably paralled (sic) in every community but as far as the Cherry Tree/Beech Road estate alone is concerned the annual variation in conceptions is more informative:

Year Number of conceptions
1964 4
1965 28
1966 16
1967 14
1968 16

The estate was still only partly built in 1964 but there seems to have been a significant burst of marital activity in 1965 which gives some credence to the adage about “new house, new baby”. The rate has stabilised for the last three years and may well continue at this for some years to come, bearing in mind (once again) the low average age of the parents.

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