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Charley in New Town


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Director Halas & Batchelor
Duration 8min 15sec
Release Date 1948
Sponsor Central Office of Information for Ministry of Town and Country Planning
Synopsis This film shows in light fashion how to set about replanning a town
Text version of this film


In the immediate post-war period 'New Towns' were considered to represent one of the main hopes for the future. Designed to alleviate overcrowded inner cities by building in less populated areas, the scheme was ambitious. It resulted in twenty-nine 'New Towns'. Twenty-three towns in England and Wales and six in Scotland, Stevenage being the first.

Other towns such as Harlow, Hatfield and Basildon were amongst the first New Towns built between 1947 and 1950. New Towns took the overspill population from London and other big cities. They also provided much needed accommodation for people living in hastily built post-war prefabricated houses.

During the Second World War over two hundred thousand houses were totally destroyed and half a million seriously damaged. The need for building houses became an ever increasingly important political issue in the 1950s.

In 1961 and 1971, learning from the experiences of the first generation towns, a second generation was built. Altogether, the New Towns attracted 700,000 inhabitants between 1947 and 1970.

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