Saturday, 15 March 2014

Prefab Museum - opening times to end September 2014


The Prefab Museum is set in the heart of the UK's largest surviving prefab estate - in a prefab - in Lewisham.  Described as Catford's only Museum by the Evening Standard it is organised and curated by photographer Elisabeth Blanchet, whose obsession with prefabs knows no bounds, and this fascinating slice of 20th century social history, domestic life, hopes and dreams is a show case for artists', photographers' and videographers' work, memorabilia and artefacts. 

The museum has been so successful it has been extended to the end of the summer, so there is still plenty of time to visit, to go on tours of the estate, attend talks and to come to our archive tea parties. Bleeding London, an initiative by the Royal Photographic Society to record every street in London, met at the Prefab Museum for their launch. 

From 7 June the museum will open on Saturdays from 11am - 5pm, at other times by appointment - please contact Elisabeth if you would like to book a group visit or a place on the next estate tour on 21 June. The museum is also included in this year's London Open House on 20-21 September. Please follow @Prefabs_UK on Twitter and Prefabs - Palaces for the People on Facebook, for the latest news and events, and take a look at the Prefab Museum website. 

Please donate when you visit, to support the museum. The museum currently receives no funding and is supported entirely by volunteers and donations. Our thanks go to the visitors who have donated so generously (and told us their fascinating stories!). We are looking for sponsorship, funding and financial support. If you can help, please contact us.

Donation 'teapot' and prefab map of the UK

I confess to being one of the artists, having taken photographs of all 187 individual prefabs for the Community Voices project, funded by the Media Trust, in 2011. These photographs were displayed in their entirety in the sports hall at the nearby Goldsmiths Community Centre, and I discovered them still boxed up just before last Christmas. Not all of them remain, but the ones that do are for the residents, current and ex, to take away with them if they wish. Please, if you take one, leave a memory of your prefab on the wall behind! If you would like to know more about the Community Voices project and the history of the Excalibur prefabs please visit the Hubbub website.

Memories of 33 Persant Road
All 187 prefabs displayed in the Sports Hall, April 2011, at Goldsmiths Community Centre
Mr Eddie O'Mahoney, in front of the prefab display, who moved into his prefab in 1946 after being de-mobbed
Only room for 95 on the prefab wall - there are more in the cupboard 
- just ask!

Eddie (dapper as ever) with Elisabeth, at the Prefab Museum
Joan from Persant Road is the first to take her framed prefab photo home
17 Meliot Road, London SE6 1RY!
How to get to the museum - map by Alexia Lozano
The Prefab Museum is a short walk from the 124 bus stop in: 
Baudwin Road (follow the road around past the prefab church and the Meliot Road family centre)
Boundfield Road (through the alleyway opposite Hexal Road)
or the 336 on Whitefoot Lane (via Longhill and Battersby Roads). 

Entry is free, but a donation is very much appreciated. Funding for the Museum ended in March and we are now relying on donations to support it including the Excalibur Tenants Management Organisation who have kindly opened the prefab for the museum, and supplied marshalls. When you visit, why not pick up a souvenir of your visit - there are postcards, DVDs, books and magazines to buy.

Books, DVDs, zines and postcards

Please scroll through this blog post to see examples of participating artists' work and links to their websites and blogs, a short film of the launch and reviews by local and national newspapers.

The exhibition features the work of photographers, film-makers, writers and artists – Jo Cooper, Nick Davis, Nadège Druskowski, Cath Dupuy, Anne-Marie Glasheen, Sarah Gregory, Jane Hearn (me), Harriet McDougall, Rob Pickard, Alex Pink, Pat Posner, Lizzy Rose, Keara Stewart, Lucia Tambini, Melanie Titmuss, David Young. 

Elisabeth Blanchet's website:Prefab Museum / Opening 08-03-2014
On Zealous: http://blog.zealous.co/blog/insights/zealous-story-elizabeth-blanchet-prefab-museum/

Artists' websites and blogs:
Rob Pickard
Jo Cooper
Harriet McDougall
Keara Stewart
Nick Davis
Cath Dupuy
Melanie Titmuss
Anne-Marie Glasheen
Lucia Tambini

Follow developments on:
Facebook Prefabs - Palaces for the People
Twitter:
Watch it on ITV local news
Read all about it in 
East London Lines
News Shopper
The Independent



Participating artists
Photographs by Rob Pickard
Photographs by Elizabeth Blanchet, drawings by Keara Stewart
'What is a dwelling?' installation by Jo Cooper
Photograph by Cath Dupuy

Line drawings by Keara Stewart who has made an
Excalibur Estate comic/zine  to accompany the exhibition 
(£1.00 or free to Excalibur residents)
Drawing by Melanie Titmuss
Photographs by Anne-Marie Glasheen, Rob Pickard and Nick Davis
Photographs by Cath Dupuy, drawings by Melanie Titmuss 
and installation by Jo Cooper
A special mention for Harriet McDougall, who was unable to be with us for this event. Harriet and I met in 2011 when she was an undergraduate at Goldsmiths College. Her project on, and beautiful line drawings of, the prefabs on the Excalibur Estate, were coloured by children from Forster Park school nearby. Harriet was kind enough to permit me to display copies of her line drawings at the prefab museum.


Fifty prefabs, by Harriet McDougall
Harriet's line drawing of 28 Persant Road, 
coloured by a child at Forster Park School
Life in the Broome Park prefab village, stories by Pat Posner, illustrations by David Young for People's Friend.
Lucia, Keara, Rob, Elisabeth, Jo, Jane and Nick at the launch on 8 March 2014

Photo courtesy of the News Shopper