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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33 & 34 Millcroft Estate, Pool-in-Wharfedale

Swedish Post-War Prefabricated Houses – location list (updated 15 March 2018)

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. You can read Neil’s narrative about Swedish houses here and an abridged version in issue 6 of the…

Minister of Works opens the AIROH B2 bungalow as part of the Aluminium From War to Peace exhbition, Selfridges

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…

American UK100 prefab, Brittany, France

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…

Festive update from the Prefab Museum!

Dear Prefab Lovers, 2016 is coming to its end and has been a fantastic prefab year: after years of prefabs commitment, we were awarded last May a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to pursue our moving prefab activities. Since, we organised nine events in and outside London, developed our prefab archive, released two issues…

Elisabeth Blanchet, calendar girl

How my passion for prefabs made me a calendar girl

I have always wanted to be a pin-up on a calendar. After all, that’s how Marilyn Monroe started her career… As I early realised I probably didn’t have the attributes nor the connections within the pin-up industry, I decided to give up the idea and focus on… prefabs. It was quite a niche, more than…

Physical map at the Prefab Museum

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’…

Seco Mark 2 building with a Mark 3 being built inside

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…

Part of the Brockworth shadow factory that is now demolished

AW Hawksley Ltd and the factory at Brockworth – guest blog

We would like to thank Paul Francis from the Airfield Research Group for contributing this report. AW Hawksley Ltd and the factory at Brockworth This article mentions the following companies, Armstrong Whitworth Development Company Ltd, AW Hawksley, Hawker Siddeley Group, Hawker Siddeley Transport Ltd, Armstrong Siddeley (Brockworth) Ltd, British Nylon Spinners Ltd, Structural and Mechanical…

Moving Prefab exploration: Le Chateau (de Crittall), and prefabs in Silver End, Essex

Down a rural Essex country lane is Silver End. The history of Silver End is a fascinating one, beginning in the 1880s when Francis Henry Crittall, the son of an ironmonger in Braintree, began to manufacture metal windows. The company became very successful, and in 1926 Silver End Model Village was established for factory workers…

Moving Prefab: A prefab weekend on Wake Green Road, Birmingham

As part of Birmingham Heritage Week, we were lent an empty Phoenix-type prefab on Wake Green Road, where there are still 17 lovely standing prefabs. Jane, Dave, Selim and I were here to welcome visitors to visit and discover the inside of the prefab, to enjoy our portable exhibition and to take part in it!…