Have you, or your family or friends ever lived in a prefab? Elisabeth Blanchet, a Time Out photographer who has been documenting London’s prefab estates for the last ten years, is holding a tea party at the UK’s largest surviving estate of postwar prefabs, Catford’s Excalibur Estate. She is inviting Excalibur residents, anyone with experience of prefab living, as well as any prefab enthusiasts to come along for tea, cakes and sandwiches – and to share stories and photos of prefab living.
Thousands of prefab houses were built across bombed-out London after World War II to help alleviate the housing shortage for returning servicemen and their families. Since then, most of the capital’s estates have been knocked down and the Excalibur is set to be bulldozed and replaced by modern housing later this year. Originally built by German and Italian prisoners of war in 1945 and 1946, six of the 187 bungalows received Grade-II listing last year. The remainder of the estate will be demolished, along with its tin-roofed prefab church, St Mark’s, believed to be one of a kind. Come and visit the estate before this unique slice of 20th-century social history disappears for good. Blanchet is making a documentary about the Excalibur Estate, as well as building a prefab archive.
Join her on Saturday February 23, 2-6pm. St Mark’s Church Hall (on the Excalibur Estate), Baudwin Road, SE16 1RN. For more info, see elisabethblanchet.com