Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Disappearing garages

While wandering around the estate last week, haunting the places that haunt me, I saw that a number of garages round the back of Priory Close had been removed, leaving clean white spaces where they used to be.

You can just see them in this photo from a few years ago:

And on the left-hand side of this detail of the road from a 1972 aerial photo:

The council originally built 142 garages on the estate to cater for an imagined increase in car ownership in those modern times, but they always struggled to be let. The Gainsborough Urban District Council Housing Committee met on the 11 January 1965, where it was noted that a number of garages were still unoccupied. Car ownership never flourished here in my day at least - my family never had a car, everything was local and in reach and so we either walked or, if we were feeling decadent, took the bus into town. 

I don't know why ACIS (the company responsible for managing the town's 'social housing', including this estate) have taken these down. I suppose people wouldn't rent them, but then this road is one of the more deprived parts of the estate and I also doubt that many people here actually own a car. My friends and I used to play a ball game we called 'Spot' against the side wall of that block of two end to end garages you can see near the bottom of the aerial view (with a white van at one end). But now it's gone with the rest of them and another bit of the old fabric of the estate I knew has vanished forever.