Swedish house front view

SWEDISH POST-WAR PREFABRICATED HOUSES, a narrative by Neil Midgley

By the end of World War Two there was a severe shortage of housing in Britain. Under the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act 1944, the Ministry of Works was to provide 500,000 ‘Emergency Factory Made’ (i.e. prefabricated) homes to tackle the shortage. In fact, only around 160,000 were built including a number of Swedish Baltic pine…

Prefab Museum survey – what do you think?

For our Heritage Lottery Fund project The Moving Prefab Museum and Archive we want to find out what you think about it. The project has taken the Prefab Museum to different parts of the UK, working with museums with prefabs and community/voluntary organisations. We have collected, recorded and shared memories of prefabs from these events…

Prisoner of war mess huts

The Moving Prefab at Eden Camp – and an unexpected discovery!

Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum is located in Malton, North Yorkshire and is a fascinating place to visit. In use as a prisoner-of-war camp from 1944-9, the site was used for grain storage until the mid 1980s when the owner, local businessman Stan Johnson, intended to build a crisp factory on it! He was…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Twitter