This is a blog I am following through wordpress: entitled Municipal Dreams. It provides a fantastic history on some of our housing estates and is timely in light of the Lib Dems suggesting the building of 10 new towns to reduce the housing demand in the south east. Well worth a read
We looked last week at the building of the Watling Estate and its early residents. Watling was seen – for good or ill – as a symbol of the ‘new England’. Middle-class observers – particularly the new breed of sociologists and planners – asked what type of community was it, was it a community at all? Perhaps what really concerned was that it should be the right sort of community.
As we saw last week, it certainly wasn’t that for many of the well-heeled residents of near-by Mill Hill and Edgware, shocked by this supposed incursion of uncouth slum-dwellers. A 1927 letter to the Hendon and Finchley Times reported flowers stolen from gardens, fruit trees stripped and language that apparently even shocked a local workman. (1) Children attending the Watling Central School from outside Watling saw the Estate as ‘dirty’ and ‘rough’, according to Ruth Durant. (2)
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