The best for the most with the least.

 

System built houses of steel and concrete at Shaws Way Twerton in 1949
System built houses of steel and concrete at Shaws Way Twerton in 1949. (Click on visuals to expand)

A new exhibition has opened at the Museum of Bath at Work on an overlooked aspect of Bath’s urban landscape – the legacy of the great twentieth century public house building programme of Bath City Council.

From the end for the 19th century until 1979 this sustained building scheme changed forever the look of Bath, expanding its borders and for the first time putting the provision of good quality housing, for the poorest, in the hands of local government.

Cornish style concrete council house at Weston
Cornish style concrete council house at Weston

Throughout the century, and in particular after 1945, local authority building evolved from semi-detached cottages and terraces at Dolemeads to garden suburbs at Southdown and from low rise apartment blocks at Snow Hill to brutalist towers at Ballance Street.

The first council houses - Lampard's Buildings
The first council houses – Lampard’s Buildings

Director Stuart Burroughs said ‘ This exhibition is concerned with the public provision of housing in recent times, when for the first time the local authority took full responsibility for housing the poor at a time when this was national policy. Whilst the housing may not be distinguished architecturally it represents a new approach to social care and urban planning’

The exhibition runs from Wednesday June 12th to November 1st 2013 and admission is free with admission to the Museum. The exhibition is being run in collaboration with the Brutal Bath; Modern Building in Bath from 1945-being run at the Building of Bath Collection.

 Pre fab housing at Wedmore Park
Pre fab housing at Wedmore Park

For more details contact Stuart Burroughs at the Museum of Bath at Work on 01225 318348 or director@bath-at-work.org.uk.

The exhibition is called Bath and the Council House: A Social History and admission is free with admission to the Museum. Here’s a link through to the Museum’s website where you can find directions and other information.http://www.bath-at-work.org.uk