Bretch Hill needs less criticism and more social investment - Comment

Jack Ramsay spent a week on Bretch Hill where his father Gordon lived as a teenager NNL-190608-112304001
Jack Ramsay spent a week on Bretch Hill where his father Gordon lived as a teenager NNL-190608-112304001

It is disappointing to hear Gordon Ramsay in his documentary (Born Famous) describing Bretch Hill as a s***hole.

The estate was built in the 1960s to house workers attracted to Banbury to work in the expanding factories including Birds/General Foods, AP and Alcan.

Hundreds of families came from all over Great Britain to live here and were allocated council housing on the estate.

Gordon Ramsay’s own family was drawn to Banbury from Scotland and in Monday evening’s programme he, in his own way, paid tribute to the facilities provided then - housing and a youth club to name two.

Since the broadcast of Born Famous many have gone on to social media to lament Ramsay’s denigration of the estate which suffers the same problems as many very large housing conurbations in times of austerity and constriction of public services. I was one of many who, when I came to Banbury, was lucky enough to be allocated a house for me and my son on Bretch Hill. I found the people there - as Jack Ramsay (Gordon’s son) did - to be kind, friendly and willing to help, expecting nothing in return.

If the programme did anything it was to show Jack Ramsay to be a thoughtful, affectionate and caring young man.

And it showed that what places like Bretch Hill need is not criticism but a good dose of meaningful social investment.