The second in what has actually become a series of five. The joys of the Newtowns
I went to school in a new town. In truth, I spent much of my time then denigrating it, and much since. In part, that is because it was somewhere my teenage self had only one ambition about: getting out (or, more accurately, getting the twenty-odd kills down the road to London. Ironically, I even ended back there a few years later before making a final escape. To be host, I wouldn’t go back. But, looking at Harlow as history, well, perhaps I was very, very wrong.
We ought to start with what the people of Harlow had so often started with, as this polemical 1935 documentary makes clear.
In post-war Britain, housing was big politics, as was the notion of improving the lives of ordinary people. One of the most ambitious policies was the building of new towns.
So what have we forgotten? Primarily, it is the idealism that…
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