Prefabricated buildings to be saved

The style and functionality of prefabricated buildings has certainly come a long way over the years. The temporary buildings of today are a far cry from their counterparts in times gone by and there is no denying that they are now much more effective and attractive.

However, many people have a fondness for the prefabs that were built in the post-Second World War period to provide accommodation for families that had been made homeless by the bombings and for returning servicemen and women.

It was recently revealed that another four prefabs from Coltspool at Kibblesworth are to be saved. They will be reconstructed at the Beamish open-air museum to be preserved for posterity.

The modular buildings are built on two storeys and they are semi-detached. According to the Guardian, they have a metal skeleton that is made from the recycled frames of military vehicles and they are clad in slats of concrete.

These constructions are to be part of a new 1950s section at the Beamish museum.

Meanwhile, the Guardian pointed out that a total of more than 200,000 prefabs were built by the Ministry of Works in an emergency programme after the war and, although they were not supposed to last for more than ten years, many “established a hold over families”.

The prefabs in question will be deconstructed, loaded onto pallets and transported to Beamish, where they will temporarily be placed in storage until work begins on the new 1950s area.

A spokesperson for the museum said: “Beamish is currently undertaking a long-term development review and it is hoped that in the medium term a 1950s development will be added to the existing Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian areas.”

The representative added: “As well as appropriate buildings, it is anticipated that the collecting of 1950s artefacts will commence later this year.”

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