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shivver13 in dw_britglish

A few questions

Hi there! I have a few questions about British language, customs, and geography for some fanfics I'm working on that I hope you can answer. Thank you in advance for any assistance!

1. I'm really fuzzy on the British school system and how grades (years) are referred to. I have a character saying that she's known another character since the year of school in which they were around 12-13 years old. In America, that would be 6th or 7th grade. What would it be for a British student?

2. If you're moving from one town to another and paying a company to move your belongings and furniture, what do you refer to them as? And what kind of vehicle would the items be moved in? In America, we'd call them movers, and they usually use a semi to move multiple clients' belongings in bulk, but it doesn't seem like Britain has semis. (I can't imagine they'd be able to navigate the narrow roads.)

3. Is there a somewhat posh neighborhood near Chiswick that I can locate a family? The family is not super rich, but both parents work and have good jobs - definitely upper middle class. Even if there isn't a named neighborhood, a location would be helpful, so I can look on Google Earth to get a feel for what the buildings and houses look like.

4. Is a "flat" an apartment, meaning a single residence in a building of multiple single residence? Or does the term have multiple meanings? For example, in America, when a person refers to his "flat", it could mean a house - in this sense, it simply means "where I live".

5. When I was in Britain last year, I noticed that a lot of the towns had houses that were individual residences, usually two floors, all connected together in a long row. What is that type of house called? Row house?

Thanks!

Comments

1) You start school at age 5 in year 1, and you must stay at school until year 11 (age 16) although quite a lot of kids also do years 12 and 13. So age 12-13 is year 8.

2) A removal company and they use a removal van. We don't have 'semis', we have vans and lorries and sometimes trucks. Lorries are the big ones. Vans are smaller.

3) Chiswick itself is posh enough for your needs.

4) Yes, a flat is a single home in a building - it could be a house divided into two or three flats, or a bigger block of flats. Rose lives in a council flat.

5) A row of houses all linked together is a terrace and the houses are terrace houses. If only two houses are linked together they're semi-detached. A house on its own is detached.
Thank you!

From what I'm reading elsewhere, council estates are supplied by the government, and I suppose that implies the occupants are low-income? Does Clara also live in a council flat? I know that much has been made about the fact that they used the same block of flats in Cardiff for filming both Rose and Clara, but I wasn't sure if Clara was really meant to either live in council housing or actually live at the Powell Estate.
Clara definitely doesn't seem to live on the Powell estate, and probably doesn't live in council housing (although the standard really varies - the Powell state is at the lower end).
Council estates can be mixed occupancy though. I live in a council-owned block - but I own my flat within that block. My neighbours are a mixture of other owners, people renting, and council tenants. Council tenants do tend to be lower-income as that's why they need the support.

I've never been particularly clear on where Clara lives - that house in the Christmas special was definitely not a council flat!!
Council estates can be mixed occupancy though. I live in a council-owned block - but I own my flat within that block. My neighbours are a mixture of other owners, people renting, and council tenants.

That's because under one of the Thatcher governments in the 1990s council tenants were given the right to buy their houses or flats, and at a discount rate. Some subsequently sold them, so you'd now find people living in what was once council housing who definitely wouldn't qualify for council housing on income grounds.