Alf's a binman and Laura works at the local village shop.
They moved into their nice two bedroom council house with their 2 young daughters 35 years ago.
Finally, they had a little security after years of living hand to mouth in an endless stream of bedsits and temporary housing. When they got the keys, after so much striving, they were told it was their home. They couldn't believe it was theirs. They paid their rent and took a breath for the first time in years.
Their new home was a 1950s two-bed, the red-brick houses ranged around a village green.
Alf never sits down. He's just one of those blokes that needs to be "on the go" every minute, fixing and helping and improving.
As soon as Alf got the keys (with permission of course) he ripped out the tired old local authority kitchen and put in a beautiful new one he made himself. He redecorated everywhere, fixed the broken floorboards and landscaped the garden. He even turned the outhouse shed into another bedroom so the girls wouldn't have to share once they grew and needed that bit of extra privacy. All from his own pocket & his own sweat. All from pride in his beautiful home.
After a few years, Alf and Laura looked into buying their home, hoping for a little future security for the girls.
However, (oh the irony) the council added £29,000 to the value of their home because Alf had done so much work to make it nice.
But Alf and Laura are "grafters", they didn't miss a beat. Didn't moan about fairness.
They just went on with bringing up their girls to be lovely women.
Alf could always be seen mowing everyone's lawns out the front. It was a council job really, but he liked to keep the road looking nice.
Every week he mowed the 130" lawns of the elderly couple who lived next door every week too and took away their rubbish if they couldn't manage. He never asked - he knew they'd only say no if he did - he just did whatever needed to be done, day by day. Always on the end of the phone or a quick knock away if the old man fell and his wife couldn't get him up. No fuss, no debt, just a neighbourly hand and a joke.
The girls fell from the trees they climbed on the green, learned to ride their bikes, snogged boyfriends in cars outside, stomped, cajoled and sulked their way into adulthood, as all teens must.
Now of course they've moved on. Found families of their own, gone to college. A credit to their parents in every possible way.
Now, Alf's retired, and the village shop has closed, leaving Laura with few other options for work in a small village. Because Alf is retired, but she is not, and as reward for all their work, for their striving, their care of others, their strength and their support, their community or the care and pride they took in their home, Alf and Laura must now move away or find £24 extra per week - over £100 a month.
They now have what are classed as two "spare" bedrooms - the girl's room (it will always be the girl's room to Alf and Laura) and the room Alf built so lovingly downstairs in the old coal store when they grew and needed a little more privacy.
Yet shockingly, frighteningly, like a bolt from the blue, the government say they must now pay more or move. What if the girl's want to visit? What if there are grandchildren? Where will they sleep?
They don't have the extra money, and there's nowhere smaller to move to for 30 miles. The council has offered them a room in a B&B for "What might be a wait of several years I'm afraid" but that's the only help they can offer. And the B&B is 90 miles away in a totally different county.
Their home. Their precious home. With the kitchen Alf built from scratch, their cherry tree in the garden nearly ready to bear fruit. Their million melting memories of life and love and trying and failing, shattered. Just like that. The dream of a secure home to grow old in now the children are raised and safe, stripped away. The old couple next door left with no-one to rely on.
The grass un-mown, the street unloved, quiet without Alf's booming, teasing, compassion.
The government justify the Bedroom Tax with fairness. They say it isn't "fair" Alf and Laura should keep the now-occasionally-spare rooms in their family home. They say that somehow, they haven't paid for it ten times over in rent and love. They say they have no right to security, a place to call home and grow old in, or their memories.
Tomorrow, there is a national day of protest taking place up and down the country against the Bedroom Tax. (Incidentally, for the economically concerned, the Bedroom Tax will actually cost councils more than it will save.) There will almost certainly be one near you. PLEASE add your voice and stand up for Alf and Laura and three quarters of a million people just like them. Half a million of them will be disabled.
Please click here : For more details on tomorrow's protests and how to get involved where you are. Let's share it and tweet it til our fingers bleed, then hope with everything we've got that the public decide this is their new Poll Tax.
**Names have been changed, but Alf & Laura are a real family.