In 1944, Winston Churchill promised to manufacture up to 500,000 prefabricated bungalows to ease the housing shortage after the Second World War. Made in factories, over 156,000 temporary "prefabs" of a few designs were delivered to eager Local Authorities. They were nicknamed 'Palaces for the People'. With convenient kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems, they proved popular. Intended to be demolished before 1959, prefabs were defended by residents who campaigned to keep their family homes and communities. Nearly seventy years later, the last of these two bedroom homes are being demolished. Elisabeth Blanchet tells us the history of these popular homes with gardens, shows their different designs, and providesa glimpse indoors. Through the stories and memories of residents, she reveals the communities who were pleased to live in the prefabs, many of whom have for years been fighting local authorities' efforts to demolish them.
Elisabeth Blanchett writes on various topics, with a particular interest in prefabs, Gypsies and Travellers and photography. She has written articles about Gypsies for Travellers' Times, and about prefabs in Time Out and The Guardian 2.
Churchill's Emergency Homes
Delivering Palaces for the People
Life in a Prefab
Seventy Years On
Places to Visit