20th century Housing History for the Humberside Region 39.

(This is post number 39 because the last one should have been number 38, not 37 again).
With a development like Orchard Park Estate it’s hard to think of it just in an historical context as reputation-wise it comes with so much baggage. Ironically it’s the East European tenants who take it at face value as they don’t have preconceived subjective opinions – although I have talked to one who lived there and was appauled at the behaviour of some tenants. The layout plan for the estate was compromised from day one. The idea of separate units (‘villages’, s.p.b.) is attractive theoretically but has no meaning on the ground when a tenant can walk from one village to another in a few steps. In other words such a layout plan was never afforded sufficient space. The cost of the land is/was always a principal factor in determining a development’s viability. The same criticism can be levelled at the residential tower blocks in that pioneer architects of modernist ‘brutalism’ actually envisaged each tower block surrounded by considerable areas of grass, shrubberies, ornamental trees etc., these being the first things to be sacrificed to keep within a predetermined budget. Within each ‘village’ terraced houses were laid-out to imitate the terraces of the 1880s housing either side of Hessle Road in the belief that this would have heritage appeal for tenants re-located from this slum clearance area. A noble idea but too simplistic. Nostalgia set-in and the notion that ‘back on Division Road you could leave your front door open and nothing would ever get pinched’ was more selective memory than truism. But what could not be denied was that back then most were physically near their place of work.
I’m sure some people liked, and still like, living on Orchard Park, it’s not houses that act in a delinquent way, it’s the occupants.
(Just Bransholme to consider and the 1980s before closing this topic).