Out and About in Letchworth: A Social Experiment


By Trevor James, published 1st February 2014

In a previous edition of The Historian (110, Summer 2011) we highlighted the midnineteenth century achievement of the industrialist John Dodgson Carr in creating the holiday resort of Silloth as a place of resort and recreation for his workers, and the wider workforce in Carlisle. So the seeds of trying to alleviate the living conditions of working-class people on a large scale had already been sown.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century well-motivated, and immensely wealthy, industrialists began to focus their attention specifically on the day-to-day living conditions of working-class people. Very specifically the Cadbury family created Bournville, on the edge of Birmingham, and William Hesketh Lever created Port Sunlight, near Liverpool, both as planned settlements to house workers in spacious and healthy living conditions. Planned villages around London were created, among which one was at Ilford with accommodation for 6,000 people...

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