Street fighters #7 – Middlesbrough


Barbara Yafano’s family had lived for generations in St Hilda’s, Middlesbrough’s former industrial hub – known locally as ‘over the border’. But six years ago city mayor Ray Mallon, who hit the headlines in the ’90s as the zero-tolerance police chief known as Robocop, kicked off a major regeneration process that has decimated the area. Few houses are still standing and even fewer people are left. No one seems sure what – other than a new homeless hostel – will take their place. The Yafanos and a neighbour fought hard for a fairer compensation deal and eventually got something they were happy with. In January they moved to a property in another part of Middlesbrough. Barbara was sad to leave St Hilda’s but relieved her five years of hell were over.

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