This page is for prefab memories, stories and photos. We ask for your patience while we upload the many files to this new website.
Please read our blog posts on various topics, from the history of prefab manufacturers, prefabs in France, how we go about mapping the prefabs, the difficulty politicians in the mid 1940s had in grasping the prefabs concept and many more.
Prefab memories on film. In the meantime why not watch and listen to Irene Ottaway’s memories of her prefab in Clement Road, Willesden, June Kapitan’s memories of her prefab in Ipswich, George Warren and Olive Welfare’s memories of the Isle of Dogs, and Catherine, Ben and Terence’s memories of north London.
It will be a work in progress as we collect and share more memories during our Moving Prefab events and exploration. Please send us your memories, we love to hear about them! Contact us via email email@example.com, leave a comment on our blog posts or if you are on Facebook or Twitter let us know there. As we edit the many oral histories we have recorded we will make them available.
Eva contacted us via email in early August 2016, after looking at our map.
I read in the GLIAS newsletter that you are on the lookout for old prefab sites. As a schoolgirl I lived in the Hall Green district of Birmingham, and remember three rows which were built on sites near the River Cole at the time. A lorry-load of German prisoners-of-war would arrive and they dug the foundations and made the concrete bases. I don’t believe that many of the actual prefabs survive, though it’s possible that one or two in Wake Green Road near Sarehole Mill have been preserved.We didn’t live in one ourselves, but the family of my room-mate in College did. Her father was a postal worker in East Ham, and she told me how pleased they were to be relocated there, with all mod cons., but unfortunately, I’ve lost touch with her.We lived in Hall Green, Birmingham, from 1945 onwards. My mother was still living there until around 1980, and I would often visit her. There were two rows of prefabs parallel to the River Cole between Highfield Road and Trittiford Lake. These are the ones I saw being put up. I don’t know what the postal address was, on you map it appears to be Brookwood Avenue. But I really don’t remember there being any actually in Cole Valley Road, and I have a good visual memory. The area around the River Cole between Brook Lane and Highfield Road, parallel to the river, was called The Dingles, and subject to a great deal of flooding at times. Gardens on the river side of the road would be under water – we lived on the higher side.I think that there were actually about three or four prefabs in Trittiford Road, opposite Chinnbrook Road and you don’t have those on the map. Could your informant have been thinking of those? I do remember the ones in Coleside Avenue which he also reported.My family were German refugees from Hitler, so I and my two siblings spoke German quite well and got into conversation with one of the prisoners-of-war. This was before the news of concentration camp atrocities became public. My mother must have felt sorry for these soldiers, some of them quite young, far from home, and sent them apples from our garden. Later they moved on to another site, where we visited them again – from your map, it may have been Hollybrook Road, but there weren’t many road signs in sight just after the war. They had been taken down to frustrate any possible invaders and new ones weren’t being made yet. As I remember it, this was a pretty large site, but I didn’t ever see the prefabs, once built.
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