CHILTERN OPEN AIR MUSEUM

Grid Ref: TQ 010 937
Dates: 28 Aug 2012

The first few pictures below illustrate the wartime and immediate postwar period. There was a housing shortage arising from the destruction of property in the cities that had been bombed. Prefabricated houses, knows and prefabs, were brought in for speed of cheapness of construction. To save on copper piping the kitchen sink was on one side of the partition and the bathroom washbasin on the other. They were supposed to be a temporary measure but continued in use for decades. Some people loved them as they were an improvement on previous accommodation but they were poorly insulated. The museum's own website describes the site as follows:

"Step back in time and explore over 30 reconstructed historic buildings, including an Iron Age roundhouse, 1940s prefab, blacksmith’s forge, Victorian toll house, tin chapel, WW1 and WW2 Nissen huts, earthen cottage and working historic farm that is home to goats, sheep, chickens, cows and farm cats. All set in 45 acres of beautiful Chilterns countryside."

 

Car   Cast iron
Austin and public convenience   Detail of cast iron
Seat   Wartime prefab
Cart turned into a seat   Prefabricated postwar housing
Prefab kitchen   Kitchen sink
Prefab kitchen with washing boiler   Sink with washboard,hard soap, Rinso and brillo pads
prefab   prefab living room
Burea in living room ration books & soda siphon   Clock, radio, books, rag rug and sewing machine at right
Bedroom   Hut
Bedroom with dressing table, chest of drawers and cot.   Type of hut used by armed forces
Tin chapel   Chapel
A corrugated iron chapel or "tin tabernacle"   Interior of the chapel
Thatched cottage   a
Thatched timber cottage   Harrow
Toll House   candles
Toll house for collecting fees to use turnpike roads   Beeswax candles
chair legs   Horses
The Chilterns were famous for chair manufacturing   Heavy horses

 

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