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A few months after my first prefabs' visit in Peckham, I discovered the Excalibur Estate in Catford, an estate of 186 post-war 'uni-secos' to be precise. Possibly the largest remaining one in the UK. There was a holiday feel to it: the uniformity of the bungalows, the little streets and alleys, the low rise skyline and the cute gardens surrounding each prefab. Surprise was my first reaction. How could there still be there, all of them, in a sort of unity? Then I felt moved, touched by the strong sense of community they had probably help create. I knew I was going to become an Excalibur Estate regular, which I am still, more than a decade later...
Eddie O'Mahony when I first met him in 2002. Born in 1920, Eddie is the oldest resident in the estate.
After being demobbed and returning from Singapore in 1946, he found a bombed-out home and nowhere for his young wife Ellen and their little son to live. At first he wasn’t sure he wanted to live in a prefab but Ellen, who was used to outdoor toilets and no plumbing, immediately loved the prefab’s mod cons: a refrigerator, gas stove and lovely garden. Eddie has cared lovingly for his home and even bought it in the early 90s. He has kept many of its original features and proudly says: 'I love my prefab. I wouldn't swap it for Buckingham Palace, even if it included the Queen'.
Copyright
© Elisabeth Blanchet Elisabeth Blanchet
Image Size
2729x1833 / 1.1MB
Contained in galleries
Prefab Museum / Elisabeth's selection, Prefabs, Prefabs: Palaces for the People, Eddie and Max, Prefab Museum / Lucy
A few months after my first prefabs' visit in Peckham, I discovered the Excalibur Estate in Catford, an estate of 186 post-war 'uni-secos' to be precise. Possibly the largest remaining one in the UK. There was a holiday feel to it: the uniformity of the bungalows, the little streets and alleys, the low rise skyline and the cute gardens surrounding each prefab. Surprise was my first reaction. How could there still be there, all of them, in a sort of unity? Then I felt moved, touched by the strong sense of community they had probably help create. I knew I was going to become an Excalibur Estate regular, which I am still, more than a decade later...<br />
Eddie O'Mahony when I first met him in 2002. Born in 1920, Eddie is the oldest resident in the estate. <br />
After being demobbed and returning from Singapore in 1946, he found a bombed-out home and nowhere for his young wife Ellen and their little son to live. At first he wasn’t sure he wanted to live in a prefab but Ellen, who was used to outdoor toilets and no plumbing, immediately loved the prefab’s mod cons: a refrigerator, gas stove and lovely garden. Eddie has cared lovingly for his home and even bought it in the early 90s. He has kept many of its original features and proudly says: 'I love my prefab. I wouldn't swap it for Buckingham Palace, even if it included the Queen'.