On Thursday 12th June 1952, a meeting took place at the Ministry of Housing & Local Government to discuss the proposed development of Bletchley.
Councillors from five London Boroughs - Acton, Harrow, Hendon, Wembley and Willesden - were present along with those from Bletchley Urban District Council.
Councillor H.J.Price, Chairman of Bletchley's Development Committee told the conference that Bletchley, having satisfied it's own most urgent housing needs, was prepared to make a hundred houses, then under construction, available to those Londoners who were willing to work and live in the town. The first of these houses was due to be completed in July. September 1952 saw the first Londoners move to the Saints Estate in Bletchley.
London County Council (L.C.C) made a financial contribution in respect of the provision and maintenance of the homes for the people coming in from London and so reserved the right to nominate suitable tenants.
From the 6th - 8th July 1952, the Housing Centre Trust held an exhibition in the County Hall in South East London on 'Decentralisation and the Town Development Act' which featured Bletchley and its involvement in 'overspill' and expansion.
The Industrial selection Scheme was established to match unemployed Londoners with suitable jobs in Bletchley.
From July 1952-1957, 881 dwellings had been completed - mainly on the Saints, Castles and Rivers Estates and of these, 524 houses were occupied by tenants from 'exporting' authorities,101 by people moving to the town with an industry, 14 were sold to the Police Authority and the remainder were allocated to people employed by the Council on town development and also to people on Bletchley's own waiting list. Understandably, not all Bletchley's residents were pleased with the idea of 'Londoners' moving in to their town, especially as it was often seen to be a lot easier for someone from London to get a house in Bletchley than someone who was born and bred there. As with all things, however, most resentments were gradually forgotten as the Londoners and the people of Bletchley settled down into co-existence, albeit over time.
These three photos were taken in 2000
Saints Estate
Castles Estate
Rivers Estate
The Lakes Estate provided the final 'overspill' housing in Bletchley, although its completion took longer than the estates that preceded it.
Not all of those who came from London were nominated by their Local council for housing or indeed through the Industrial Selection Scheme, in fact some came to live in the private housing that was growing alongside the 'overspill' estates. But some did come for jobs, and to live in a growing, attractive town that still had a country atmosphere.
Many of those who moved to Bletchley during the 'overspill' years, still live here - some even remaining in the home they first moved to. Many of the original 'Incomers' have had children and even grandchildren who still live in the town, and there are probably more people in Bletchley today with London roots than with a local background.
The 1950's map of Bletchley
Next page...Early Settlers
Also...Lakes Estate
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