Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Children put the focus on long lasting homes

Residents, who have lived for decades in prefabricated bungalows, originally built to last ten years, have been the focus for budding photographers in a fascinating exhibition that traces the homes' history.

The 30 photographs and a collage to celebrate the longevity of the 36 bungalows in East Meadows, Marske, which were built in 1947, will be unveiled at Marske Library on Wednesday, December 6.

Coast & Country Housing, working in partnership with Redcar and Cleveland Council's Library Service, created the project which involved young people from the library's Reading Group and nearby Errington Primary School.

Photographer Tony Griffiths hosted two workshops with the young photographers, while professional artists Kathryn Wren and Margaret Hayden worked with another group to produce the collage, thanks to £2,000 funding from the Museums Libraries and Archives Council North East.

The Council's museums curator Alan Pearce, who will present certificates to all the children involved, will accept a DVD of a permanent photographic record of the East Meadow homes to be stored at Kirkleatham Museum.

Coast & Country Housing's Director of Regeneration and Development Anna Gibson said: “The bungalows have served a close-knit community of residents for several decades longer than intended since they were erected to provide emergency housing after the Second World War.

"However, they can no longer be brought up to modern-day standards economically and the residents have worked very closely with us to design a replacement development that we are sure will become as cherished and popular as the prefabs.

“I congratulate the children and artists involved in the collage and photographic exhibition, ensuring that this important era of social housing has been recorded so creatively for the reference of generations to come.”

Resident Mrs Thelma Peacock said: "The children have worked very hard and we were thrilled to talk to them and show them round our bungalow. It’s exciting for us to be part of the history being recorded and we are looking forward to viewing the exhibition.

"At first I was concerned about the proposals but Coast & Country Housing have consulted with us and have kept us involved in the process. I realise that the new homes will be much better than at present and I am looking forward to moving."

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "The young people have done a terrific job and I'm sure they've also learnt a great deal about the homes."

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