Filed under social housing

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City BBC4

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City BBC4

This documentary featured the pioneering journalism and activism of Jane Jacobs who led the battle to stop the wholesale replacement of cities and their vibrant communities with freeways and tower blocksin New York City. Her main opponent was Robert Moses who became a local hero for promoting open spaces and building public parks, but after … Continue reading

The London Disease Comes to Cardiff

The London Disease Comes to Cardiff

Last weekend saw the end of the Brickstock Festival at a former brickworks in Central Cardiff. It had a huge number of events, with music by James Dean Bradfield and many others but I only made it to the last, a series of site-specific performances in a Victorian house. There was an old couple reminiscing … Continue reading

Black is More than a Colour

Black is More than a Colour

Many years ago I visited a Steiner Community for people with learning difficulties. Their bedrooms were different colours, and they moved each week, but the yellow room had to be repainted as it was found to cause sleep and behavioural disturbances. We are all affected by colours, and some colours have negative connotations, none more … Continue reading

Troubled History of Hexham

This is some more from The Highways & Byways of Northumbria. This is about one of its most ancient and well known towns: Hexham had a very troubled history, the early portion of which culminated i 875 when the Danes, under Haldane landed and pillaged and destroyed Hexham along with many other churches. The church … Continue reading

Larkhill Place Part 3

Larkhill Place Part 3

A few final pics from this wonderful reconstructed Victorian street, made up of houses that were still being lived in up till the post war demolitions. a parlour in a well to do home a printer’s shop a tiny local pub before there were washing machines I think this is a boundary stone

Larkhill Place part 2

Larkhill Place part 2

Here are some more pics of the wonderfully recreated Victorian Street at Saltford Museum. Entrance to the druggist’s shop and his window a ladies’ hat shop, or milliner a penny farthing, letterbox, coach a magic lantern in the toyshop the music shop a parlour – so tiny! A few more pics for part 3 to … Continue reading

Larkhill Place, Saltford Museum

Larkhill Place, Saltford Museum

This may well be my favourite museum ever, but it is also the saddest. Larkhill Place is an invented Victorian Street made from buildings and furniture salvaged during the great post war slum clearances made famous in the Bonzo Dod Doo Dah Band’s song I’m the Urban Spaceman. If you see films of the clearances, … Continue reading

English Towns

These days, the soaring cost of housing means that a growing number of people who work in London cannot afford to live there. A few years back I read that the closest a London fireman could afford to buy a house was in mid Wales. That’s why traffic to the capital is so bad on … Continue reading

Cholera Arrived

Europe has lived through many many epidemics and pandemics, but the arrival of Cholera in 1832 from India came at a time when its cities were seething with the poor, and there were still economic and social problems in the aftermath of the Napoleonic and Revolutionary Wars. In Britain, they were fortunate to have discovered … Continue reading