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Peckham, South London, is where my prefabs journey starts. Well, my London one. I read an article about home parks in the Big Issue and wanted to go and photograph one. 'Why do people live in mobile homes, caravans, prefabs?' is a question I have always asked myself.
I was talking to a colleague at the French school where I used to work about this idea of doing a piece about a park home outside London. 'You don't need to go that far' she says, 'there are some sorts of mobile homes where I live down in Peckham. Come round and I'll show you'. Which I did... I found myself in front of a row of prefabs. What were they still doing here? Still standing and very much lived-in? I knocked on a door. An old man opened and asked me what the purpose of my visit was. I said I was a French photographer interested in his little house. Could he tell me more about it? He invited me in for a cup of tea and started to tell me what he knew about the history of Britain post-war prefabs. He became particularly talkative when he found out I was from Normandy, where he had landed in June 1944. He proudly showed me his prefab. Although he didn't wish to be photographed, the time I spent with him was a wonderful introduction to the world of post-war prefabs.
Stanley and Ted, father and son outside their prefab on Kimberley Avenue. I haven't got any picture of their interior for a good reason: they freaked me out... When I knocked on their door back in 2002, Ted invited me in, showed me his living-room and shut the door behind me. I panicked for a few seconds. I was in the filthiest place I had ever seen. The floor and the furniture were all covered with newspaper, there was dog poo about everywhere and behind the kitchen door, I could here the dog barking. I felt trapped. How to escape? Lucky me, Ted didn't want me any harm. I can't remember exactly what happened but I must have found an excuse and he let me go. It was one of the only times I said no to a cup of tea in a prefab.
Copyright
© Elisabeth Blanchet Elisabeth Blanchet
Image Size
2843x1859 / 5.2MB
Contained in galleries
Prefab Museum / Lucy, Prefab Museum / Elisabeth's selection, Prefabs: Palaces for the People, Prefabs
Peckham, South London, is where my prefabs journey starts. Well, my London one. I read an article about home parks in the Big Issue and wanted to go and photograph one. 'Why do people live in mobile homes, caravans, prefabs?' is a question I have always asked myself.<br />
I was talking to a colleague at the French school where I used to work about this idea of doing a piece about a park home outside London. 'You don't need to go that far' she says, 'there are some sorts of mobile homes where I live down in Peckham. Come round and I'll show you'. Which I did... I found myself in front of a row of prefabs. What were they still doing here? Still standing and very much lived-in? I knocked on a door. An old man opened and asked me what the purpose of my visit was. I said I was a French photographer interested in his little house. Could he tell me more about it? He invited me in for a cup of tea and started to tell me what he knew about the history of Britain post-war prefabs. He became particularly talkative when he found out I was from Normandy, where he had landed in June 1944. He proudly showed me his prefab. Although he didn't wish to be photographed, the time I spent with him was a wonderful introduction to the world of post-war prefabs. <br />
Stanley and Ted, father and son outside their prefab on Kimberley Avenue. I haven't got any picture of their interior for a good reason: they freaked me out... When I knocked on their door back in 2002, Ted invited me in, showed me his living-room and shut the door behind me. I panicked for a few seconds. I was in the filthiest place I had ever seen. The floor and the furniture were all covered with newspaper, there was dog poo about everywhere and behind the kitchen door, I could here the dog barking. I felt trapped. How to escape? Lucky me, Ted didn't want me any harm. I can't remember exactly what happened but I must have found an excuse and he let me go. It was one of the only times I said no to a cup of tea in a prefab.