I bought this book after reading a review in The Times, and was so pleased I did. Although it was a softback (not hardback as advertised), I was delighted my purchase. The photos are great, and rather than being a technical history, the book features the lives of prefab residents. There are illustations on every double page, and it is a great format, the designer has done really well. I have seen a couple of other prefab books, and these tend to be either based on American prefab systems, or the Brenda Vale book is a technical history that is interesting, but poorly illustrated. I found the chapter on Prefab Interiors particularly interesting, and the original residents photos were charming. In fact it is the recolections and images of residents with their beloved prefabs that makes this book the gem that it is. Now that we are losing the last of Britain's prefabs I hope a copy of this book is deposited in every town library, so everyone can read about these great houses. The only thing I would change about the book would be to include more information about contemporary perfab design, but you can't have everything!
I found this book purely my chance because I was searching the internet for general info on prefabs. I lived in a prefab in Southend-on-Sea, Essex for the first ten years of my life and we all loved living there - unfortunately we have only a few photographs and so it was a real jolt to see these pictures and remember little things I had long forgotten. It was like seeing someone else in my childhood memories, really weird but I loved looking at the photos and reading about the prefabs. I really enjoyed reading this book and thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about this unique way of living.
This book has lots of great photos; timeless pieces of people's lives. It's like having a sneaky peek over the garden fence back into the 1940s. I've flicked through it time and time again. It's also a really interesting read, not just about prefab houses around Britain, but also about the whole era, and so anybody interested in modern history will find this a fascinating insight into how the normal people of Britain got on with their lives in post-war times. I guess some people will find it a trip down memory lane as there are also photos of house interiors from this time. The prefabs of the book's title are all around the country, from Essex to the north to Wales. I'm sure you'll enjoy this book, whether for the informative text or the fascinating and plentiful photos.
Having lived the first 17 years of my life in one, this is a real nostalgia trip! I lived in Porters Field Estate in Leyton East London on quite a large prefab estate and it was simply the best comunity that you could wish for. A safe haven for kids to be left out to play in all day. Hated it when we were all moved out and dispersed into tower blocks or low rise flats....Happy days! Tony Perryman
Now that prefabs are making a comeback, have a look at how it was done during and just after WW2. Well written, letting people who have lived in them tell their own story and share their photos. Good clear colour photos of prefabs still standing. The only negative is that the book should have been in a larger format.
I am one of the people who are mentioned in this book having lived in a prefab for many years. Some of the pictures are mine and the book serves as a reminder to how life was 50 years ago. For anyone who lived in a prefab and remembers what living in them was like this book is a treasure trove. I spent years looking for a book about the prefabs so when I had a chance to give a little to this book I jumped at the chance. It's not just a glimpse into how we used to live its also about the actual people who lived their lives in these wonderful little houses.