Did you ever wonder why some blocks of flats were built on stilts, or why bungalows suddenly became popular, where and how people used to wash and dry their laundry, or when the first housing social documentary was filmed? Do you know anyone whose home – without adequate amenities and overcrowded – was listed for clearance for years with promise of something better, or whose live was changed forever with a new council house? Have you heard stories about residents living with strangers in common lodging house and sleeping with bed bugs in dirty sheets, or tenants routinely living with rat infestations, whilst others were buying their first home in the London suburbs for £595, with space for their car?
Do you know some of these names: Le Courbusier, Elizabeth Denby, Wells Coates, the Salters of Bermondsey, Berthold Lubetkin, Sir John Tudor Walters, Dr Christopher Addison, Raymond Unwin, George Orwell, Michael Young – and wonder at why their legacy was so significant? Have you heard of these buildings: Isokon Lawn Road Flats, Embassy Flats, Kensal House, Quarry Hill, the Peckham Pioneer Centre, the Finsbury Health Centre – or even London Zoo’s penguin enclosure?
You will find some answers, and probably many more questions besides, in my new ebook: Housing and Hope: the Influence of the Interwar Years in England.
The aftermath of the First World War in England from 1918 was a time of major social and political change and new thinking about how we might live; it was about far more than just Homes for Heroes. Despite strenuous efforts by many pushing forward new ideas, thousands continued to endure dreadful housing conditions, with little hope that anything would ever change. Government sporadically intervened and new movements promoted progress.
Focusing on this period in history and where it was leading, this eBook considers the role of the sanitary inspectors in tackling poor housing, the development of suburbia and the radical new approach proposed by the modernists. It draws from historic journals, literature, biography and film in its interactive and innovative approach to encourage a wider appreciating of what poor – and good – housing really means for people.
Lavishly illustrated with the author’s own photographs, this new publication shows how housing really can hold the key to a better life and that with decent housing, there comes hope.
Enjoy your read!