Last week Ruth and I attended a symposium themed around the history and heritage of post-war council estates at Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln. Click here to see the programme for the day.
It was an extremely well attended event, so we were lucky to be able to go along and hear talks by academics, artists and architects, and to meet others working in the heritage and conservation sectors. A highlight of the day was a trip to St John’s Church on the Ermine Estate where we were given to an insight into some archival materials that have recently been digitised and are accessible on-line, including the Ermine News, a community newsletter.
Designed by local architect Sam Scorer in 1962 as ‘Lincoln’s Church of Tomorrow’, it features a distinctive hyperbolic paraboloid roof, and a stunning stained-glass window. St John’s is now a Grade II* listed building. Undoubtedly such iconic architecture draws attention to council estates. There are many questions, however, that need to be asked relating to where estates more broadly (and not just iconic set pieces) sit within heritage and conservation debates, and the social and cultural values that they hold.