Safe homes and social impact ... that's the focus surely?


It appears I am world class at buying paperbacks and then failing miserably to finish them; it also appears that I can’t keep my kindle charged either.   How do I know this?  Well, a week long electronics family ban meant we actually had to read for pleasure …..And communicate with one another in more than short, monosyllabic chunks of some hitherto forgotten (for good reason) ancient language.

In total I found 12 books that had been started, not finished.  Feeling that I needed to set the standard, as head of household (behind 2 boys and Toffee, the cat), I chose Andrew Marr’s “A History of Modern Britain” to restart – It weighs slightly less than a new born hippo,  thick enough to make me look learned and wide enough for me to hide behind should I need to.

Pg. 75-76 Housing was the most critical single post war issue.  Government reckoned that 750,000 houses were needed immediately.  London, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle still contained hideous slums lacking any sanitation or gas, electric power supply.  Families were separated (due to the war) and yet people wanted to return to the warmth and security of family life” – Between 1945 and 1948 a total of 156,623 prefab homes were manufactured in hastily converted aircraft factories and built by Prisoners of War.  Not enough to meet full housing demand but enough to make a difference.  In total there were 13 individual designs and “communities developed in prefab estates that cheerfully survived well into the seventies.

I know that there are some excellent debates ongoing Modular versus Traditional versus steel v wood v….whatever comes next in the construction community.  I can’t really subscribe to the debate as the critical path, surely, is to provide quality homes for our people; well designed, well built and, above all, safe.  If we get the basics right (which modular and traditional both do) then the social impact of any scale delivery will far outweigh the technical debate.

Am really looking forward to in a couple of weeks. We have a full team there and if you’d like a coffee and catch up give me a shout.

And yes, I did finish the book but now appear to have lost my kindle……….the electronics ban is over, small successes are sweet.

Stephen McQueenie