This is a companion piece to John Belcher’s The First Twenty Years, written in July 1992.

This year, as we mark our 50th anniversary, Tony Stacey, our Chief Executive, has reflected on his time at South Yorkshire Housing Association.


Here are the words of John Belcher that I have quoted the most over the years.

I’ve shared this excerpt at employee roadshows, induction programmes and external presentations…

“Building on the past did not mean jettisoning the essence of SYHA and what it stood for. The preservation of what had already been achieved depended in the first instance upon preserving the organisation itself and making it able to compete boldly.”

I believe John would very much recognise the association he and our founders set up 50 years ago and would, I think, be very proud of what we have gone on to achieve and who we are today. As they say, on the shoulders of giants….


“It’s the past that tells us who we are. Without it we lose our identity.”

Professor Stephen Hawking

Next section – Cathy Come Home