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Tuesday, August 06, 2019

German And Italian Prisoners Of War Build Pre-Fab Homes In London

Lulu said - I would take one - on the beach

Beautiful gardens

Someday soon it will all be gone

Kitchen - bath - living room - 2 bedrooms - in 600 sq ft

During World War II - 500,000 homes were destroyed in England by German bombs and rockets. Although the Germans never set foot on Great Britain - a war of terror caused great damage to the British homeland. Even before the war ended - in 1944 - a plan was put into place to use prisoners of war to build tiny prefabricated homes to provide temporary housing for the residents. Today - we would probably use trailers - but Britain build 180,000 small homes out of steel and concrete made from war rubble. They were assembled on site and supposed to last 10 years. Many people were just happy to have an indoor bathroom. 

England was on war rationing until 1954. Coal - gasoline - food - cloth - were all rationed. These things money could not buy without a ration coupon.

On Saturday - our last full day in London - we wanted to see something different. We took the train to Catford in South London. A development called Excalibur at one time was composed of 160 of these tiny homes. In homes that were supposed to last 10 years - people were still living and thriving 70 years later. The village was originally set up in park land. Now that land has become worth millions. An effort is being made to get the people out of the pre-fab homes - and develop the land. 

Excalibur was at one time a happy little tidy community. Now it reminds one of a holiday campground or an almost abandoned company coal town. The little houses are in all states of repair. Many are gone with nothing but a little foundation or sidewalk remaining. Tiny alleys and streets are overgrown in places - manicured in others. After the war - people found community and peace here. Now it is being turned over and erased like an Etch-o-Sketch toy. It was never meant to last this long - but it is still sad to see people pushed out. 

There is a cute modern community of Tiny Houses just opening west of Tallahassee FL. The tiny homes are all pristine lined up like cordwood. Families and friendships are being developed there. Is this how communities come and go? It seems a little sad. Nothing is constant but change.

Roughly 20 x 30 feet = 600 sq ft

This one had a nice yard with a few cars

This one looked closed

The garden was overgrown - owners gone

Thru the window - a coal burning fireplace

Thru the window - a steel bathtub

This old mini fit right in

This person had a Lexus and loved flowers

These alleys served as streets - few cars - just bikes

Excalibur had streets named after Camelot

This church still operates in the old military quonset hut

Poured concrete church school

It used to be tidy and green

Here is how you fit a bathroom - 2 bedrooms - living room - kitchen - porch in 600 square feet

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