Tour of the Excalibur Estate

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Visitors will be able to explore a unique piece of social and architectural history with a tour of the last remaining post-World War II prefab estate in Europe. Time Out photographer Elisabeth Blanchet will be conducting a tour of Catford’s Excalibur Estate, which she has been visiting over the last eight years to record the lives of the estate’s residents in pictures and for a documentary on prefab estates.

The prefab (short for prefabricated home) came into prominence after World War II as quick-fix housing for areas hit heavily by bombing and a few hundred remain today. But time is running out for the estate residents as most of the homes are under threat of demolition. Catford, with 187 homes, is the largest UK estate, but all but six of the buildings are set to be pulled down later this year after Lewisham council approved a redevelopment plan in 2010. Residents of the estate and campaigners are fighting the plans and have set up a petition to save the homes here: epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/54225. But this could be your last chance to see these mini bungalows – the panels of which were constructed by German and Italian prisoners of war – and meet some of the tenants still living in them.

Please note: tours meet at the Excalibur Estate TMO office (1 Baudwin Road, Catford, London SE6 1RN). Email elisabethblanchet@hotmail.com to book.

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David Willis

Well worth visiting the Excalibur Estate is an important part of our Social History and should be preserved not destroyed. I have been before and will indeed be visiting again on September 21st.