Municipal Dreams

Imagine knocking down some old Nash Regency terraces to build council houses.  If that idea fills you with horror, you should probably stop reading now.  If, on the other hand, it might capture a democratic moment, a time when we wanted to build houses for the people and cared less about the interests of the few, read on.

Derwent: Davies and Arnold, Zone C

This was the vision of Eric Cook in 1944.  Cook, a left-wing journalist, was the vice-chair of St Pancras Borough Labour Party.  (Elected to the Council in 1945, he died aged only 42 just three years later.) Admittedly, his idea had had some help from the Luftwaffe but the buildings were poorly built (‘by Regency jerry-builders’, he said) and thought at the time to be beyond repair.  Modern bulldozers, he went on, could easily create ‘one of the finest building sites in all Britain…the ideal site for…

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