The history of post-war pre-fabricated homes, told in the form of a poem.
Following the war, homes were built quickly using prefabricated parts. Decades on, many of these temporary “prefabs” are still in use, and the people that live in them have come to love them and the community that surrounds them. A council decision to replace them is being fought. In this workshop, held over three days at the Southville centre, we find out why.
This workshop was led by Aikaterini Gegisian, Paul Matson and Paddy Uglow.
Winston Churchill told the nation in 1944,
“I like the idea of prefab homes – go build me more.
We do not want homes of brick as this is much too slow:
To save us precious time it must be a prefab bungalow.”
So many names of types and different designs,
Were to be erected, with quickness in mind.
In section onto transport lorries they will go,
Up and down the country: the prefab bungalow!
Ten thousand were put up around old London town,
To replace the homes that “Jerry” had bombed down.
These homes were put up in less than a day,
Many more were built in Liverpool, Norwich and Coventry.
Eighteen towns and cities in all:
Cardiff, Bristol, Belfast, Manchester, right up to Hull.
Differences in construction in making prefab frames;
Some of the metals taken from defunct aeroplanes.
Frames made from steel, wood and aluminium,
Have stood the test of time, into the millennium.
The names of these prefabs were a real mix:
There were Arcoons, Tarrans, Spooners, Portal and even Phoenix.
At first these homes were the brunt of jokes and laughter.
Now, as they were then, are very much sought after.
Now the government tells councils “All prefabs have to come down.”
It’s caused so many problems that we appeal to the crown.
“These prefabs are little palaces; loved and cherished they have been.
Dare I take this liberty, madam, and say they are fit for a queen?”
Buckingham Palace picture created by Will_D (flickr.com), used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 licence.
Queuing people picture created by Dominic’s pics (flickr.com), used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 licence.
All media not otherwise credited created by Dave Drew, Mike, Doreen, John, Pamela, used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 licence.