Remembering Bruno Crosby, 15 years on

bruno-crosbyIt is more than 15 years since Bruno Crosby passed the way.

For those who don’t remember Bruno, he was known as “King of the Squatters”. It is worth remembering that squatting has a noble history in our city with leaders like Bruno, Harry Crowley, and even Lord Steve Bassam.

In the 1970s there were many empty and derelict properties around the city. The squatters movement took them over, did them up, and provided much-needed housing.

It is worth remembering that the housing crisis we are facing today although on unprecedented scale and severity, has been with us for many decades.

Bruno, along with friends, took over a long abandoned house in Argyll Road near Preston Circus, a stones throw away from our container homes development, Richardson’s Yard. They installed electricity and plumbing, and undertook essential works to make it watertight.

Over the years, Bruno was able to establish legal ownership of his home as no owner could be traced.

But he was not interested in it as an investment opportunity. When he died at the age of just 51, he left the proceeds of the sale of his home to two organisations, one being Brighton Housing Trust. He was one of our Board members for several years.

As the Argus reminds us today (10th February 2017): “Bruno coordinated squatting activities in Brighton during the Seventies when the movement was at its height. At one stage, hundreds of squatters were housed across the town in squats he had organised.”

I remember fondly, a man of great passion, great drive, and unswerving principle.

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