Monday, December 01, 2008

The Lansbury Estate 1951 - It's what Labour Council's do

An excellent post here about this famous Tower Hamlets housing estate. Check out the paragraph about the three-piece. I don't think that you will get such stuff in modern day Co-op press releases:-

"The Lansbury Estate in Poplar was one of the largest post war municipal housing schemes undertaken by the Labour controlled London County Council (LCC) and later the Greater London Council (GLC).

The Estate was named after the great Poplar Labour Councillor and MP George Lansbury.

The first building began in December 1949 and was built on a site North of East India Dock badly bomb damaged during the blitz in World War II.

The first tenants Mr & Mrs Albert Snoddy and their two children moved in on the 14th February 1951 at a rent of £1 and nine shillings a week (rates included)

It was a showpiece estate, built as it was based on "neighbourhoods" and of a good standard. The first phase formed the basis of the Live Architecture Exhibition, part of the Festival of Britain of 1951.

Lewis Mumford, the great American writer on urban planning, was enthusiastic about Lansbury Estate, writing in the New Yorker, he stated that Americans 'might profitably consider this masterly effort as a guide to our thinking' on public housing.


The 1951 Festival of Britain Architecture Exhibition

Furnished Flat Landsbury Estate - Poplar

The object of the London Co-operative Society in furnishing the Show Flat, Lansbury Estate, has been to choose schemes of decoration, furniture, fabrics and fittings to make the most of available space.

The selections have been made in close collaboration with the Council of Industrial design. The furniture has been specially designed and made at the C.W.S. factories and combines hard-wearing qualities with beauty of line and reasonable price. Most of the articles shown are tax free.

Mrs Grace Lovat Fraser has designed the colour schemes and interior decoration and as selected furniture and fabrics in consultation with members of the staff of the London Co-operative Society Ltd.

The treatment of a room depends on its aspect and the amount of money available, and both these factors have been taken into consideration when planning the interior decoration and furnishing of the rooms.

The living-room is colour washed in peach, the woodwork being of a deeper shade. The two armchairs and settee are covered in leather cloth with contrasting cushions in an attractive colour.

The three-piece is of entirely new design, consisting of a settee, one armchair, intended for the man—comfort being the key-note—and the other for the woman, which gives firm support to the back and ample elbow room for sewing, knitting and the other spare-time occupations which fall to the lot of the housewife.

The carpet is a seamless chenille Axminster with a fawn ground featuring a contemporary design of detached leaves in brown with off-white spots. The curtains are of rayon and cotton fabric in a woven plaid pattern, green and beige predominating with a black and red thread running through; they are lined with casement for extra strength.

The television set is a "Defiant," as is the table radio shown above, This model is not included in the flat, but is illustrated, as television is not yet everybody's choice.

The dining suite is made in natural mahogany with semi-matt finish, and is mahogany lined throughout. This method of finishing modern furniture has a twofold purpose—to bring out the full beauty of the wood and to prolong the " good looking " life. Unlike highly polished furniture, surface dirt can be easily cleaned off and scratches, abrasions and other marks are not so noticeable.

The chairs are upholstered in a soft fabric of pleasing colour. The lines of the suite are clean and uninterrupted by meaningless decoration and, therefore, will not date. The drawers in the sideboard have rounded corners and sides which prevent the collection of dust and dirt.

The group of crockery shown below has been selected from the Utility range made at the C.W.S. Potteries at Longton, This is available from time to time at all L.C.S. stores the keynote of simplicity is maintained and effect is achieved by placing the plain white pottery on a coloured table-cloth.

The earthenware has a full white colour and the design ensures maximum stability combined with good line and shape.

The dinner service consists of six meat plates six dessert plates, six cheese plates, two vegetable dishes and two meat dishes. the fruit set has a large round bowl and six small bowls which can be used for soup or individual sweets. The tea set comprises a teapot, six cups and saucers, six plates a bread and butter plate, milk jug and sugar basin.

Striped Australian walnut is the wood chosen for the principal bedroom suite which consists of a double bed, fitted wardrobe and dressing table is lined mahogany throughout. The built-in cupboard dispenses with the large wardrobe.

The same simplicity of line is observed and the job of cleaning has been anticipated—all the pieces are lifted from the floor. The grey carpet is a made-up hair-cord, which gives a sense of luxury at a comparatively small outlay.

The curtains are of blue and white printed spun rayon lined with blue casement and reflect the colour of the ceiling. The bed-spread is made from blue and white woven cotton in a honeycomb design, topped by a blue covered quilt. Walls of pale lavender grey and ivory woodwork complete the restful colour scheme, the dash of contrasting colour being introduced in the chair seat which is a pastel shade described as dusty The pillow slips, sheets and blankets are utility Maryland brand.

The household linen with which the flat has been equipped has been taken from ordinary stock. Each bed has an interior spring mattress and two pillows, one pair of sheets, two blankets, two pillow slips (the double bed four), a quilt and bedspread.

In the bathroom are two hand towels, a bath towel and bath mat. There is a rubber mat on the floor and one fitted with rubber suction pads in the bath.

The kitchen is equipped with floor cloths, dusters, hand towel and six glass cloths.

All the curtains have been made in our workrooms and most of them are lined with casement for added strength and wear. The colour arrangement of patterns of the textiles gives a key to the types of fabric, and the other illustration gives a good idea of the draping qualities of the materials.

An original note has been introduced in the bathroom by the use of ordinary hand towels as curtains. This innovation has much to recommend it as they are easily washed and do not deteriorate in the heat and steam.

Moreover the wearing quality is extremely good and the price comparable with curtain material. Colour schemes have been chosen for the kitchen which are cheery and gay, as a great deal of the time of the housewife will be spent in this room. Ivory walls and woodwork with skirting, window frames and door frame in signal red, shelves lined with thick turquoise American cloth with a small white star, and curtains lined with cream casement of gaily flowered cretonne, make the kitchen a room that is far removed from the drab routine "workroom" of so many houses.

A contrast is made by the red floor covering in coir matting, which is easily lifted for cleaning. As the cooker is electric, the aluminium saucepans are heavy duty with ground bottoms. Having catered for the grown-ups we now turn to the child's room. This has been planned to be equally suitable for a boy or girl.

Walls and ceiling are washed a clear sunny primrose and the woodwork is of ivory. The predominating colour in the printed linen curtains is dark pink on white with the sprigged pattern picked out in brown and lime green. The bedspread is of pink and white woven cotton and rayon, the same colour being repeated in the quilt.

The furniture is light oak, wax polished and is specially designed to hold the belongings of a teenager. The floor covering, which is a made-up square of coir and sisal matting in a chevron pattern, is easily rolled up for cleaning and allows for plenty of hard wear.

A team of craftsmen and designers has been working at the various C.W.S. factories producing the furniture for the Festival. Flat. Facsimile suites are on show at some L.C.S. showrooms, where it is possible to study these fine examples of workmanship in greater detail and with more leisure.

All the cupboards in the kitchen are fully stocked with non-perishable foodstuffs, Domestic equipment and cleaning materials comprise a refrigerator, a Co-Op Society carpet sweeper, broom, wall brush, soft and hard hand brush, scrubbing brush, set of kitchen cutlery, a half set of table cutlery, carving knife, fork and steel, wooden spoons, sieves and .strainers, mincing machine, scales, oven wear, pressure cooker, sauce-pans, frying pans and full range of waxes, cleaners and polishes.

The packets, jars, bottles and tins which stock the kitchen are familiar to Co-operators and are a reflection of their own larders and cupboards. The Council of Industrial Design has approved the outside, and 1,000,000 members have expressed satisfaction with the contents. A price list of the articles is given on the loose leaf, and these are the prices at the time of going to press.

54, Maryland Street, STRATFORD
42, King Street, HAMMERSMITH
la, High Street North, EAST HAM
19, Junction Road, HIGHGATE
159, Upper Street, ISLINGTON
54, Southchurch Road, SOUTHEND-ON-SEA
277, Hoe Street, WALTHAMSTOW
638, High Road, TOTTENHAM
220, High Road, ILFORD, Essex
33/35, South Street, ROMFORD, Essex
353, Fore Street, EDMONTON
23, Staines 34a, High Road, KILBURN
202, High Road, WILLESDEN
1, Falcon Road, BATTERSEA
The Broadway, BURNT OAK, EDGWARE, Middx,
High Street, CAMDEN TOWN
High Street, ACTON
High Street, UXBRIDGE

Issued by:

The Public Relations Officer. 54, Maryland Street, E.15 Tel.: Maryland 42011

Lansbury Council House co-operative price list July 1951

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