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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“Those were the days my friend…….” Sam Webb, RIBA©

When I woke up on 6th June 1944 it didn’t seem like a special day. There was no radio in those days with a continuous stream of unfolding news and you couldn’t see the sky from our kitchen window. Switching the radio on was a special event. It was normally rationed for important events like…

A tribute to John De’Ath

We were sad to learn, from his granddaughter Lorraine, that John De’Ath was in hospital when we took a group from Lee Women’s Institute on a walk on 20th May which included a tour of his prefab garden. We learned later from Lorraine that her grandfather passed away on 22nd May 2017. John moved into…

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…

Arcon MkV (archive Susan Wright)

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…

Swedish Houses in Leverburgh, Harris, Scotland, October 2012

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…

Ted Carter in his prefab at Ector Road, Excalibur Estate

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….

Uni-Seco prefab, Irene Road, Fulham

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…