Slum clear­ance sparked so­cial mo­bil­ity

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

84 years ago this week, Ubridge Ur­ban Dis­trict Coun­cil be­gan the big­gest re­gen­er­a­tion of the town in more than a cen­tury.

In the early years of the 19th cen­tury the town had grown rapidly and row upon row of cot­tages had sprung up.

But 100 years on, the cramped and di­lap­i­dated cot­tages were deemed un­fit for hu­man habi­ta­tion and a huge slum clear­ance pro­gramme was em­barked upon, giv­ing the poorer fam­i­lies in the area an op­por­tu­nity to raise their liv­ing stan­dards, in­clud­ing bet­ter health and ed­u­ca­tion.

These amaz­ing pho­to­graphs are from the Mir­ror­pix ar­chives and show the state of the slums in 1932.

In Oc­to­ber that year Uxbridge Ur­ban Dis­trict Coun­cil con­demned the squalid prop­er­ties and on De­cem­ber 9 1932, the slum clear­ance be­gan.

Roads af­fected in­cluded Bak­ers Yard, Nash Yard, Bell Yard and York Road.

The fam­i­lies liv­ing in these prop­er­ties were re­lo­cated to a new es­tate off Glebe Road, be­fore a whole­sale de­mo­li­tion of the slums got un­der­way.

A NEW LIFE: Re­moval men un­load a van of mea­gre pos­ses­sions as res­i­dents moved to the new es­tate off Glebe Road, Austin Way on De­cem­ber 9 1932.

AB­SO­LUTE POVERTY: Clear­ing the slums of­fered Uxbridge’s poor fam­i­lies an op­por­tu­nity to raise their liv­ing stan­dards, in­clud­ing bet­ter health and ed­u­ca­tion.

HOW THEY USED TO LIVE: (Above and be­low) In­hab­i­tants of Uxbridge’s Bak­ers Yard, Nash’s Yard, Bell Yard and York Road were moved out of squalid con­di­tions.

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