The Moving Prefab

As 2016 marks 70 years of post-war prefabs, it is the ideal year to get our Moving Prefab travelling on Britain’s roads.

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Oral histories and photos, posts on local forums and comments on blogs, are often the only record that some prefabs existed at all and anyone ever lived in them.

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Our prefab location map started life at the museum. We carefully mapped the prefabs people told us about in the visitors’ book and from the flags stuck in our map

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A prefab “entente cordiale”!

I was recently scouting for prefabs in Brittany with my friend Mickaël, the director of Mémoire de Soye – a micro-museum which has 3 re-assembled post-war prefabs just outside Lorient-. He had spotted about 8 or 9 UK 100 (American type) prefabs in Carhaix, Finistère on Google street view and wanted to see them in…

Mystery prefabs – can you help us locate them from this list?

Can you help us solve these prefab mysteries? We are tidying up the map prior to making it better, and taking out the prefab locations that we haven’t been able to verify. In the two years since we started we have mapped over 90,000 post-war prefabs of the 156,623 erected under the Temporary Housing Programme…

One Arcon story

This is the story of an Arcon MkV prefab. We don’t know where it was originally located or who lived in it. Its journey starts as a dismantled prefab offered as Government surplus. Purchased by Tilhill Forestry, then based at Tilford in Surrey, the Arcon was brought into use as a bonded tobacco warehouse. Tillhill…

Prefabs in the Outer Hebrides

The first time I went to The Outer Hebrides was in May 2009. I remember perfectly. I was there for work. We were shooting a story on minks for a French TV channel. I was smitten by the beauty of the place and by its diversity: long and wild beaches, mini fjords, standing stones from…

A tribute to Ted Carter, our friend and Excalibur prefab resident

Jane and I are very sad to hear that Excalibur Resident Ted Carter died at the end of last week. Here are a few words about our prefab friend and a video I shot in 2013. I was privileged to know Ted through Trevor’s regular computer class at the community centre and the Prefab Museum….

Mapping post-war prefabs part 2 – industrial London

This blog post is something of a ramble, to start the new year. There is a lot of talk about gentrification, how London is not the same as it used to be. We have what is described as a housing crisis with overcrowding and homelessness on the rise, politicians tinkering with the notion of what…

Prefabs in North Derbyshire

In 2005, I was contacted by a prefab enthusiast, Graham Burton, who lived in a prefab in North Wingfield, North Derbyshire. Passionate about the prefab he had bought in the 90s, he had collected lots of information about prefabs, their history, their location … He had found out about my documenting work on prefabs through…

Swedish Post-War Prefabricated Houses – location list (updated 18 June 2017)

Prefab Scouts – help needed! Neil is compiling a location list of Swedish post-war prefabs (sometimes known as Swedish or Swedish timber houses). He grew up in a Swedish house in Pool-in-Wharfedale, Yorkshire, which is still in his family. The houses were imported from Sweden at the end of WW2 to designs from the UK….

Politics and prefabs

“People have got the idea that it (prefabrication) means jerry building, tumbledown shacks, caravans, shoddy work, ribbon development, draughts and leaks and everything that’s bad in building. The Government itself seems to hold the confused opinion that prefabricated means temporary”.  Picture Post, 1945 Here is a quote from The Times, 12 November 2016, following an…

Prefabs in France

“Are there any post-war prefabs in France?” I am often asked this question. So here I am, trying in a few paragraphs to sum up what I know about post-war prefabs on the other side of the Channel. My first memories of them go back to the 80s when I used to see some on…

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