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Prefabulous: explore the Excalibur Estate in Catford

Posted at 1:30 pm, September 20, 2013 in Outdoor London, Secret London
Credit: Elisabeth Blanchet

Visitors will be able to explore a unique piece of social and architectural history on September 21, with a tour of the last remaining post-World War II prefab estate in Europe. Time Out photographer Elisabeth Blanchet will be conducting a tour of Catford’s Excalibur Estate, which she has been visiting over the last eight years to record the lives of the estate’s residents in pictures and for a documentary on prefab estates.

Credit: Elisabeth Blanchet

The prefab (short for prefabricated home) came into prominence after World War II as quick-fix housing for areas hit heavily by bombing and a few hundred remain today. But time is running out for the estate residents as most of the homes are under threat of demolition. With 187 homes, Catford’s Excalibur is the largest UK estate, but all but six of the buildings are set to be pulled down later this year after Lewisham council approved a redevelopment plan in 2010. Residents of the estate and campaigners are fighting the plans and have set up a petition to save the homes. But this could be your last chance to see these mini bungalows – the panels of which were constructed by German and Italian prisoners of war – and meet some of the tenants still living in them.

Saturday September 21, 2pm. Free. Meeting point at the Excalibur Estate TMO office, 1 Baudwin Road, Catford, SE6 1RN. To book your place email: elisabethblanchet@hotmail.com. For details of future tours see the ‘Prefabs – palaces for the people’ Facebook page.

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