please empty your brain below

I did not realise there were so many "pre-fabs" left in the London area. When they were built they were very popular as being new they provided nicer living conditions inside than many people had in their old houses.
Not all ex-prefab sites have been built on, there was a pre-fab estate alongside the A316 near Twickenham stadium, they were demolished many years back and the site is used for car parking when big events take place at the stadium.
It would be nice if a few pre-fabs remained as a reminder of post WW2 life in UK. Perhaps they could move a few and erect them on the lawn outside the War Museum.
Oxford had some prefab bungalows made by Hawker from war surplus aircraft aluminium.
Great! I was going to head to this yesterday, but you did it for me... Thanks DG,

As an Australian I find this sort of housing far less alien; post-war public housing was typically like this (if it wasn't flats)....
Prefabs have bumped into my life a few times.
In the late 1940s we often visited two of my aunties in their nearby prefabs - nice and compact and much warmer than our 1930s semi.
Our honeymoon was spent at a 'seaside cottage' in north Norfolk which really was a a rebuilt prefab on the cliff top with a brick skin added. All the kitchen equipment and cupboards were the originals in pressed metal.
Now the next two bungalows down the road from where I live are again prefabs that were re-erected and given a brick outside. They have been 'improved' since so you wouldn't easily realise their original form.
Wahey - for the first time I visited somewhere at the same day as DG! Only of course I didn't put in the time to write up the research, upload photos etc...

I was also struck by how large No17 felt inside - bigger than my flat, and I'd love a garden. I just hope that whatever comes next can also provide a quality, desirable place to live, just with better density to get more homes into. Glad English Heritage are keeping 6 for posterity too.
I'm feeling especially heartbroken for Eddie, if he's forced to go.

Guess the lessons learned from destroying communities in the 1940s/50s when families were moved out to Essex, have been forgotten already.
"who gets a detached council house surrounded by their own garden nowadays?" ...who indeed i ask? and where are they? the same could be said of a non-detached houses or flats. are council properties becoming a thing of the past?

as for time you trek around Milton Keynes take a look around the older estates. there are a host of them still occupied, leftovers from when the "city" (still a town) was being constructed. they were used as temp housing for all the builders...and i believe passed on to be council(?) housing.
Good that the exhibition is now going onto May, before new tenants move into No. 17.

What I liked about the estate is how much sky you could see, and how it felt a bit like the seaside with so many bungalows (memories of my childhood summers in Pevensey Bay)

Oh, and there'll be many more residences available to rent after the rebuild, but I don't imagine there'll be such a sense of community as there is now.
Don't forget the prefab in the Chiltern Open Air Museum - well worth a visit!
I used to visit relatives in the 1950's in a prefab in Mitcham near Croydon. There was almost a village of them there, several roads and closes, and we thought they were good places to live with their little gardens all around. They had a built-in fridge, we didn't have such a luxury.
I was born in a prefab in Mitcham on South Lodge Avenue and I assume it is the same ones that Surrey Girl is talking about in the previous comment, it did have a built in fridge that was run with gas, a concept that I could never understand as a child, they were very spacious and had a great garden all around them. I loved living there.
More coverage over at
As a Canadian, what I associate with "pre-fab" is an entirely different beast. The weather would never allow for such housing to be habitable, and the country came out of the Second World War on a pretty stable footing.

A government body called the CMHC created a small book of blueprints for houses (mainly bungalows) and provided financing for returning veterans (and others) to purchase their own home off plan. Not pre-fab in the strictest sense, but the CMHC only worked with certain builders who would have all the materials for the blueprints on hand and ready to go. For us, this was as "pre-fab" as it gets for homes.

Now school classrooms, that's an entirely different matter. I spent many winters freezing in a classroom that looked much like a house on the Excalibur Estate.
Nice to see you posting about this: I visited the museum on its opening and was very pleased to hear recently that it has now been given an extra month to stay open.
One of the saddest things to see now is the way that residents and tenants are being moved out on a piecemeal basis, leaving those still there to have to live alongside properties that are at best boarded up and at worst trashed and vandalised like the one in one of your photos.
The same thing was happening when the Ferrier Estate at Kidbrooke was being vacated and I wouldn't call it a decent way to treat the last people out.
No, I'll go further: it's bloody appalling.
I've never lived in a prefab but I could see the appeal of the Excalibur Estate from the first time I went there: I'll be among those who will miss it.
[Thanks, DG: I'm flattered you included my photo of 'Eddie']

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