Growth of Ham from prefabs to proper housing – by SJ

I do remember the prefabs.  I had friends who lived in the prefabs and I can remember coming home one day and saying to my mum why don’t we have a house like that because it had built in kitchen and goodness knows what else and seemed to have all the mod cons and on one floor.  It was a very well organised little estate, well not so little.  Everybody had a garden, front and back, every kitchen had a fridge and a cooker where a lot didn’t ordinarily if they were living in rented accommodation or no accommodation.  It was quite stark so this was a huge improvement and they were all very neighbourly.

I think that was the time when people realised we were no longer a village because first you had the prefabs going and proper housing put there as well as a school and a church and goodness knows what else and then latterly the Wates estate and then you had various other little estates and of course we already had Parkleys and people were very interested in how fast we were growing and it was a huge great growth area.

Yes, because the council estate off Sandy Lane was early 50’s I think? And that was the showpiece.  It really made people think that you could have estates which were, not picture postcard, but certainly people wanted to live in and were made with families in.., you know.

High quality council housing.   Yes, definitely that was a …  I can remember walking through the Petersham estate when someone said to me, it was an adult, “well, which builder built these?” and I said “I haven’t got a clue – the council” and they said “oh this can’t be a council estate” – so deprecating.