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What Have We Forgotten Since 1900

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I went on a couple of long walks this weekend in a couple of different cities and it struck me how much we have forgotten since this time.

When you walk through a part of a city built during this period there are wide avenues, public parks, trees, public buildings set back from the road. All these things give the place a feeling of space and nature even though the population density is probably higher than a Barratt box estate.

Even the old tenement flats are rock solid with thick walls. Huge rooms with high ceilings and large shared gardens to the rear. When did this all go wrong?

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They (the council) built this street in 1953. Semi and terraces. All decent size gardens. Some bigger. Rooms in houses all excellent size. Box room is big enough to be a bedroom. Some bits of space around the street for kids to play.

The private developer houses built 1930-50 - smaller houses with smaller gardens. The spacing is better on the council build as is room size.

Contrast with stuff built in Ardwick a little later, higher density stuff - tower blocks maisonettes, terraces. Although gardens aren't bad size on some of the downstairs maisonettes. They're about to remodel the estate and remove some of the valuable green space to make more houses. Cos more people need less green space.

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What amazes me in a Northern former mill town is the wanton destruction of homes since the post war period for roads, car parks and rather dubious "land scaping."

I know we are supposed to have had a post war house building "boom" but during this period an awful lot of housing was destroyed.

Where I live in Huddersfield they tried to create a "village of the future." Where there were shops and houses, now only a few shops remain surrounded by a desert of "landscaping." You can still see the ruins of former homes set into the hillside, and to make sure no one builds again area's have been "landscaped" with massive back filling, and planted with tree's.

From old photo's and Yorkshire archive footage there didn't seem to be much wrong with that housing, as some of that stock was allowed to remain. Perfectly serviceble terrace and back to back housing.

The replacement 1960's housing was a mixture of low rise and high rise blocks.

But in the town centre whole communities were destroyed for "car parks."

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They (the council) built this street in 1953. Semi and terraces. All decent size gardens.

Reminds me of a very distant memory from my childhood.

We (family) were somewhere we didn't know, and trying to figure out where. One of my parents commented "must be council estate, because no private developer could afford to leave so much green space between the houses."

On the other hand, plenty of older houses tightly packed. The back-to-backs have been knocked down, but there's no shortage of packed terraces that open straight onto the road.

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What amazes me in a Northern former mill town is the wanton destruction of homes since the post war period for roads, car parks and rather dubious "land scaping."

I know we are supposed to have had a post war house building "boom" but during this period an awful lot of housing was destroyed.

Yep. Slum clearance: knock down the houses of the poor, destroy communities that worked - in their own fashion. Create new slums.

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  • 242 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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