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…

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…

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…

Mapping Britain’s post-war prefabs

I started plotting the online prefab locations map nearly two years ago, a couple of months after we closed the Prefab Museum in Catford in November 2014. The physical map on the wall in the hallway was smoke damaged and I had to rely on photos we had taken of it, entries in the visitors’…

The history of Uni-Seco Structures – guest blog post

Our thanks to Paul Francis from the Airfield Research Group who contributed this report. Text and photographs copyright Paul Francis/ARG. Early History In February 1941, Bernard Brunton and Rolfe Gilbert Booth, both of 6 Woods Mews, Park Lane, London submitted applications 1821/41 for a patent in support of their invention with regard to wall and…

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