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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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