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…

Memories of growing up in a prefab in Clock Face, St Helens

Terry contacted us with vivid memories of his family prefab in Clock Face, St Helens. He was told there was no information about them in the local archives. We thank Terry for contacting us and sharing his memories with us: Clock Face was a small coal mining village on the South Lancashire coal field near…

Previous locations of Prefabs in Southampton

Pete emailed us about locations of prefabs in Southampton in early July 2017. He grew up in a prefab at 51 Valentine Avenue, Sholing, on the Pleasant View estate. We already had some prefabs marked on our map, but there were many more to come from Pete! “I married a girl who previously lived in…

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…

“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…

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…

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…