Old Images of Heywood (Lancashire, now Greater Manchester)

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Glimpse history through old images of Heywood, traditionally in the English county of Lancashire, but part of Greater Manchester since April 1974.

New Flats 1963

The 1960s was the start of a short era of new concrete high rise apartment blocks. The aim was to house lots of tenants cheaply, yet providing modern bathrooms and kitchens that were typically absent from the traditional homes for lower income households.

The flats also provided great views, and had open areas at the ground floor, where children could gather to play together.

Unfortunately, this type of housing caused isolation, and lacked the community cohesion that people were used to when walking down traditonal streets, as well as various structural issues such as lack of insulation and problems with concrete. So by the 1980s they were out of favour with the planners and architects.

In fact, the flats shown being built here are long gone.

But back in 1963, the first of four Corporation blocks of flats is under construction. The plumbing is placed before the floor structure is put into position, and hot water pipes sent up the building before the concrete is poured. Plus, the concrete moulds significantly sped up the setting process. So the build is happening at a much faster rate than could ever be hoped for with a traditional build. And with saved time, there was also a lower financial cost.

There are also several quick views of the surrounding buildings in the background.

Flats Up In Half Time (1963) – British Pathé on YouTube

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