Municipal Dreams

Earlier this year the Museum of Bath at Work held an exhibition on the history of Bath council housing. That is now the subject of an article on an on-line blog called Municipal Dreams.

The way the city started to tackle its slums is explored in a very interesting and visual way by a man called John who tells me he ‘prefers to blog anonymously’ but who explains that he has a particular interest in the reforming efforts of local government.

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

John is currently writing a book which he says will be ‘a social, political and design history of council housing and council estates.’

His piece on Bath is entitled The First and Last Council Housing of Bath and l quote from its first paragraph.

If your image of Bath is Regency beaux and Jane Austen (or only that), think again. There’s a working town beyond the Crescents and that town had the slums and squalor typical of its age before 1914. If the problems were typical, Bath’s response was not.

It became an early pioneer of municipal housing and, as so often in this early period, that response owed a great deal to the zeal and professionalism of key individuals. It was a city too where social housing would have an unusually significant and sometimes controversial visual impact.’

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