Municipal Dreams

We left the Low Hill Estate last week in 1939 very largely complete.  It was never a model development – it was too marked by the social and economic pressures and constraints that have always shaped council housing to be that – but, having escaped the Second World War virtually unscathed, it could face the future with some confidence.  In practice, however, by the 1970s the woes that afflicted so much of our council housing of this period had left it bloodied…but ultimately unbowed.

Fifth Avenue Fifth Avenue

It’s true that back in 1946 its then residents weren’t exactly effusive.   A contemporary survey found 69 per cent of residents thought the Estate ‘nice’ or ‘all right (no enthusiasm)’ but there were grumbles about some of the homes in which cost-saving measures had left concrete floors and unplastered kitchen walls.  More significantly, there were many – one in six – who thought the Estate ‘too…

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