JUST LIKE THE COUNTRY was based on the reminiscences of older residents of the “Cottage Estates” built by the London County Council between the two world wars. The story told is that of a family moving from one of the crowded damp tenement buildings of the inner city to “homes fit for heroes” on the outskirts of London. The play explored the hopes and fears of the “pioneer” residents and how they worked to create a new sense of community on the estates. Often they would take up residence before the streets were finished and the shops in place and where there was almost no social infra-structure. When they arrived to view their new homes, many said it was just like the country. Despite the settling in problems, the families had ample compensation by way of inside toilets, baths, hot water, gardens, new schools and far better air and general living conditions. It was a significant social experiment about which little has been recorded from the tenants’ perspective.
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