On a recent trip to Glasgow I popped into the Oxfam Bookshop in the Merchant City and came across a copy of ”Modern Housing Estates: A Practical Guide to their Planning, Design & Development” by Stanley Gale.
“Modern Housing Estates” was published by Batsford in 1949 and typical to other Batsford editions that came out at the time it has a wonderfully illustrated dust jacket. The cover has particular appeal to me as an Edinburgh resident as it features an illustrated bird’s-eye view for a planned estate at Liberton that had been prepared for the then City and Royal Burgh of Edinburgh.
A lovely find and one that I may never sit down and read cover to cover. But nonetheless it serves as a useful reminder that many of the features we encounter in our towns and cities on a daily basis, and often take for granted, are recent additions and part of a wider vision for Modern Britain.
I was reminded of this when a very yellowed bookmarker fell out of page seven which features ‘An example of a cul-de-sac.’