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Housing Problems

July 6, 2016
by the gentle author

Writer David Collard introduces HOUSING PROBLEMS (1935) as part of a programme of East End related documentary films, including FIRES WERE STARTED (1943) directed by Humphrey Jennings and filmed around the Docks and in Wellclose Sq, at Vout-O-Reenees in Aldgate next Thursday 14th July at 7pm. Email info@vout-o-reenees.co.uk to book your free ticket ticket


Read about David Collard’s successful campaign to Save Spiegelhalters last year

Spiegelhalters is Saved

7 Responses leave one →
  1. July 6, 2016

    I think the authorities had good intentions, but a lot of places that replaced the ‘slums’ of yesterday have become slums today, because the councils neglected the buildings and let them get so run down. We still need good and adequate housing for those who can’t afford the luxury properties being offered now. Valerie

  2. Susan permalink
    July 6, 2016

    Thanks for posting this interesting film. The issue of “bugs” (by which they mean bed bugs – the footage around 3:30 or 3:45 shows one) is, sadly, still alive and well in poor areas all around the world. When I was working, I had clients who would come in with bedbugs on their clothes, because their rooms were overrun.

  3. Mem permalink
    July 6, 2016

    OMG that is poverty and to think the war was coming and all those new flats and that hope got obliterated in The Blitz . Its really interesting to read accounts of Australian soldiers impressions of the English Tommy . They were generally seen as quite small and not as strong . You can see why in this film . Its amazing that more children didn’t die . TB etcc must have thrived in this environment.

  4. Lesley permalink
    July 6, 2016

    I can’t verify it but I think the Mr Berner in the film may have been a relation!

  5. aubrey permalink
    July 6, 2016

    We’re invariably told by historians and other pundits that the victorians knew how to build; and show us beautiful examples of this in the more salubrius parts of town. Indeed the engineering brickwork that was built in the construction railway arches and retaining walls is secong to none. However the brickwork walls of the back-to-back housing built for the poor and lower classses during this period were often not properly bonded and the floors were/are under strength. This type of poorly contructed housing can readily be seen to-day; particularly in the refurbishment of terraced type housing where, in my opinion, it would be better to remove the particularly badly built wall altogether and rebuild.

  6. Merry Staser permalink
    July 6, 2016

    All “modern” people should see this…..and remember.

  7. ROBERT GREEN permalink
    July 6, 2016

    Not that I would go so far as to relate my comment directly to the appalling conditions shown in this film and I am also the least likely person to defend the authorities but from my own personal experience and observations I don’t think it’s entirely fair to place all the blame for substandard housing conditions entirely at their door, a lot people who live in council or housing association property show scant regard for the presentation and care of the property that is provided for them, often taking the attitude that “it’s not my property so why should I care”many people simply refuse to undertake even the most basic maintenance or even cleanliness, I regularly visit a friend who lives in a council property in Bow E3 there are 6 property’s in her street all with big gardens (a privilege in East London) and all but her’s, are engulfed with a jungle of weeds, most of their front gardens are used as little more that a dumping ground for beds mattress’s and general junk and all of these property’s are occupied by fairly young able bodied people who simply refuse to show any respect not only for their own immediate surroundings but also for the general living conditions of anyone living around them, yes, the authorities have a duty to provide decent housing for those who for what ever reason are unable to provide for themselves but the tenants themselves should also accept a responsibility to at least show some respect for receiving the benefit of what is being provided for them.

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