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Homes for the People (1945)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Etchings show nineteenth-century slums, which were cleared away by the Public Health Act of 31 August 1848. But what has been done since?

Five housewives are interviewed about their homes. Mrs Tasker lives in a top floor flat at Herbrand Street Estate, Holborn. She talks about the size of her family, the inadequate size of her flat and how it lacks such items as cupboards, hot water and a kitchen. Similar comments are made by a Mrs. Pendlebury who lives in the outer London suburb of Feltham and by a Mrs. Wilson of Derby.

A Mrs. Marriott, who lives in the village of Moreton Pinkney, tells how all the water has to be carried from the village pump, how there are no storage cupboards and no proper sanitation. Similar complaints are made by a Mrs. Collingbourne who lives in the Welsh mining village of Pontygwaith.

These are average, not exceptional cases. A housewife looks at her home from the point of view of her family's health, the home life and her own work and leisure. Mrs Tasker describes what would be her ideal home.

Bomb-damaged houses are compared with models of new flats and houses, with diagrams of what is required to build them in terms of site, materials, labour and money. Bricklayers work on a building site, and domestic appliances are made in a factory. Women's organisations, trade unions, tenants' associations, local councils and Members of Parliament all have a part to play in providing people with good housing.