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If you would like a copy of any picture from this site in a larger size or higher resolution then email kersalflats@hotmail.co.uk

This website is the beginning of a brief and personal history of a series of flats known as Lower Kersal Flats. The construction of these flats began at the end of 1958 and was complete by mid to late 1960. They were part of the post-war solution to the massive housing crisis which faced the country. The origins of estates of flats like these and the decisions of the corrupt politicians and business interests, which led to these failed housing experiments was dramatically portrayed in Our Friends in the North.

These "communities in the sky" had fallen out of favour by the late 1970s. It was believed that such develoments destroyed communities by bulldozing traditional housing and cramming a huge number of people into a confined space. Instead of high rise luxury living along the lines of the Scandinavian model it was considered that these concrete jungles created social alienation and social dislocation. The rising rates of unemployment, coupled with problems of crime and anti-social behaviour in the early to mid 1980s mean that these forms of housing development were earmarked for extinction. In relation to Kersal Flats there was a policy of moving families out of this estate from 1977 onwards. This policy gave first priority to any family with children under the age of 10 years of age. From that point onwards this housing was destined to become what it eventually became in the mid to late 1980s. A dumping ground for problematic persons,criminally orientated individuals, and the socially and economically dispossessed, and the area degenerated at a rate of knotts.

Picture courtesy of David Birchall @ www.birchimages.co.uk


In the 1990s it was decided that the flats were a remnant of a past that was best forgotten. Thus it was decided that the majority of the flats would be demolished and that two would remain. The latter were to be renovated and upgraded by private property developers who would produce an enclosed, and secure community for those who could afford it. The two remaining flats are still used in that way today.



Despite the depressing social commentary and analysis on estates such as Kersal Flats those who lived there may look back with fondness on this area and their time in the flats. Whilst these developments were ultimately ill-conceived and poorly executed, those who lived there in the 1970s remember a sense of community, and a sense of belonging. Those who favour rose tinted glasses will look back with fondness upon events such as the street parties to celebrate the 1977 Silver Jubilee and the real comunity endeavour that was involved.

This website is very much a work in progress. It is hoped that this site and the photographs will bring back some memories of this area. If you would like to contrubute some memories or photographs to this site feel free to email them to kersalflats@hotmail.co.uk.

Best wishes and happy nostalgia hunting.