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Prefabs

oldMohawk

master brummie
Prefabs top left in the view on Vincent Drive in 1948 and folks living in them would have been able to read the time from the University clock.
PrefabsVincentDrive.JPG

In 1981 they were derelict and about to be demolished.
1981prefabs.jpg
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Although prefabs were meant to be a quick fix to the 1940s housing need, there were problems in getting prefab sites ready. Birmingham Mail reported on the problems faced by contractors in finding labourers.

Didn't know prefabs were built on slabs - these were the only foundations ! Viv.

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Viv a slab is a type of foundation. Slabs as we know them are flagstones. A slab foundation is basically a sold slab of concreter laid down after the ground has been stripped of to the formation layer, or the top soil have been removed. Slabs were normally reinforced and there would have been some method of tying down the prefab to the slab that had to be positioned as the slab was cast. Also the service pipes, soil, waste, water and gas would have to come up through the slab in the correct place. A 'formworker' would have to build the shuttering around the edge of the slab prior to pouring the concrete.
 

Lorna Quorn

New Member
The ones I have marked in Blue were certainly still there in the early 60's (a friend lived in one for a while) although I have a feeling many of the others were demolished earlier. The buildings marked in Red were prefab shops fronting Lode Lane, Castle Lane & Faulkner Road. They were as far as I remember Nissen Huts with the front wall converted to a shop front. There was a chemist (Donnai), a hardware store, a greengrocers and several others. They were demolished long before the prefab houses when the Hobs Moat shops were built.

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Have wonderful memories of the prefab shops at Hobs Moat, "Hall Green Hardware" had tin baths hanging outside, Chadwicks (not sure what they were now!), a sweet shop/tobacconist (Dillons?) a little post office. Had a friend who lived at 2 Candytuft Rd/Lane off Rodney Road - a blast from the past!
 

joe 90

master brummie
My grandparents lived in a prefab at 235.Reservoir Rd,Erdington.In the rear garden you could see the old Highcroft Hospital.They were there until they moved to a new property in Castle Vale in a complex for the elderly.
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
I don't know why they don't think up a similar idea to solve the housing shortage especially for young couples just starting out. (Is it me or does anybody else get grumpy when they see these property programmes and people have built up a 'large portfolio' of reasonably priced property, I quite like to watch them but don't like to see youngsters outbidded - back to the topic now).
 

Radiorails

master brummie
I don't know why they don't think up a similar idea to solve the housing shortage especially for young couples just starting out. (Is it me or does anybody else get grumpy when they see these property programmes and people have built up a 'large portfolio' of reasonably priced property, I quite like to watch them but don't like to see youngsters outbidded - back to the topic now).
https://totallymodular.co.uk/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/propert...od-revolution-design-your-own-space-age-fact/
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't know why they don't think up a similar idea to solve the housing shortage especially for young couples just starting out. (Is it me or does anybody else get grumpy when they see these property programmes and people have built up a 'large portfolio' of reasonably priced property, I quite like to watch them but don't like to see youngsters outbidded - back to the topic now).

Unfortunately ten house developers build most of the new houses in the UK, why should they build affordable homes when they can make vast profits and pay out shareholder dividends. Recently on CEO was going to be paid £110million as a bonus. John Prescott did try to get developers to build some affordable housing in Milton Keynes. The developers did build some houses for less than £100k, but then sold on for a vast profit. Perhaps we should look at building social housing again, just to get people going.
 

joe 90

master brummie
I don't know why they don't think up a similar idea to solve the housing shortage especially for young couples just starting out. (Is it me or does anybody else get grumpy when they see these property programmes and people have built up a 'large portfolio' of reasonably priced property, I quite like to watch them but don't like to see youngsters outbidded - back to the topic now).
I think houses these days are status symbols and not really homes
 

jmadone

master brummie
On the topic of prefabs, I lived in one of the Valley prefabs on Billesley Common for 12 years. We loved living there, even though they were very cold in the winter.
Rita did you live at number 845 or 849 Yardley Wood Road? For a brief period around 1959/51 I lived at no 847 with my Mom and Dad and Grandma. Shortly after, mom and dad and I moved to a brand new house in Sheldon but my Gran lived there for many years until her death in 1966. My Aunt and cousin lived there for as long as I can remember and I was a very frequent visitor there at weekends and holidays. I seem to recall the name Hawkins as living next door to them and also the surname Halfpenny seems to ring a bell.
The picture shows my late mom and I at the front door of the prefab.
 

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Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
Rita did you live at number 845 or 849 Yardley Wood Road? For a brief period around 1959/51 I lived at no 847 with my Mom and Dad and Grandma. Shortly after, mom and dad and I moved to a brand new house in Sheldon but my Gran lived there for many years until her death in 1966. My Aunt and cousin lived there for as long as I can remember and I was a very frequent visitor there at weekends and holidays. I seem to recall the name Hawkins as living next door to them and also the surname Halfpenny seems to ring a bell.
The picture shows my late mom and I at the front door of the prefab.

smashing photo:)

lyn
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
When I bought my business here in the Forest in 1965 it had only a small lean-to workshop, I was offered one of those prefabs as in the Moat Lane link for £40 if I could dismantle it and transport it away, I bought it and myself and my brother went over to Cheltenham took it down and shipped it back home.

I then got in touch with the council to get permission to set it up as a workshop behind my main building, the planning officer came from Gloucester to have a look and his words were "You won't get permission to put that up here in a hundred years."

It stood in a pile on my site for a few weeks then a farmer from across the road asked if he could buy it, I told him about the planning problems and he said "No bother, I'm a farmer, don't need permission."

He bought it and erected it in his field and it's there to this day.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Kitchen interior of one of the Slade Road, Erdington prefabs. This looks very modern to me for the times these were erected. Viv.

image.jpeg
 

Radiorails

master brummie
There is a wealth of information here:
https://www.prefabmuseum.uk/
Inspired by a mid 1920's German idea and further based - hence the modernity in appearance - on American prefabricated buildings it was realized in mid WW2 that there would be a severe housing shortage once the war was over. There must have been some inspired thinking in the UK design, particularly given the shortage of raw materials after the war. I get the impression that few English towns never had any, just the quantity being commensurate with the population.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
I remember people saying they boiled Christmas pud in the boiler Grea. Makes complete sense. Viv.
 
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