20th century Housing History for the Humberside Region 37.
The photo above, Wikipedia credit ukhousing/images/8/8b/IMAG0239, shows Mildane, one of Orchard Park Estate’s 10 tower block housing units built in the 1960s. Until their staged demolition since 2002 these tower blocks formed a bold feature in the landscape visible across much of Humberside, this emphasising one of the potential advantages of tower block living – panoramic views from all windows – on the Homes in the Sun tv. programmes the salesperson’s often used punchline for the more expensive properties is ‘What about that view?, usually a parched scrubland or unfinished building site! On a very clear day I can imagine that from the top of Milldane with binoculars Lincoln and York cathedrals could well have been visible.
Milldane was the last of Orchard Park’s tower blocks to be demolished, August 2013. It had been 22 storeys high and comprised 54 flats. Some tenants who had been in their flat since it was nearly new, and who had determined to stay despite the deteriorating environment around them, were sad to leave and still felt part of the ultra modern housing provision that these flats had once been.
Orchard Park Estate, a classic model of Corbusier inspired modernist housing provision, was begun in 1963 on farmland to the north of North Hull Estate (s.p.b.s) and west of Barmston Drain (s.p.b.s). The estate was named after a local farm that was demolished, this, in turn, having been called Cold Harbour Farm (a recurring name in the East Riding the reason for which I know not). The lay-out plan for the estate was for there to be four ‘villages’, each with the word ‘park’ in their name and each with their local primary school. Two secondary schools were built on the northern edge of the estate, these taking students from the age of 14 as Hull Education Authority then used the ‘Leicestershire system’ of primary, junior highs and senior (secondary) schools.
(to be continued)