Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17


Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016


relief; some paid nothing. Over 34,000

people were re-housed between 1933 and

1940. ‘Garden suburbs’ were created on

the outskirts of the town. These were lowdensity

housing estates, where each house

had a garden with hedges and one tree.

The first one was built at Gipton in 1934,

followed by Seacroft, Sandford, Halton

Moor, and Belle Isle. Jenkinson was keen

that houses should match the individual

needs of the tenants. Each estate had a

mixture of 2, 3 4 and 5 bedroom houses,

flats for the elderly and ‘sunshine houses’

for those with special medical needs.

The means test brought in by Labour in

1934 ruthlessly exposed the pressures

on the council tenants. It tore apart

their pretence at a shared sense of

identity and class. Their resistance in the

1934 Leeds rent strike can be seen as

a last ditch attempt to create a shared

class consciousness among a rapidly

disintegrating working class.

Despite the improvement in housing and

living conditions, the residents of the new

estates missed the close-knit communities

of the slums. They missed being near the

pubs, clubs, cinemas, and shops of the

city centre, and resented having to pay for

transport to their place of work

To bring working class housing back to

the city centre the Housing Department

built Quarry Hill Flats. Quarry Hill Flats

were perceived to be one answer and

the Director of Housing R A Livett and C

Jenkinson visited France and Vienna to

inspect workers flats including the massive

Karl Marx Hof a massive block of flats

in Vienna. These flats contained facilities

for tenants, such as laundries, shops,

kindergartens, courtyards, playgrounds

and gardens.

Another delegation including Livett was

sent to look at an estate in Drancy in

France to look at a revolutionary new

construction technique designed by Eugene

Mopin, who was commissioned to come

up with a plan for a structural design for

Quarry Hill flats. The technique comprised

of a steel frame encased in pre-cast

concrete units and were then filled with

concrete. All this was to be made at the

Quarry Hill site in a purpose built factory.

Originally the plan was to have eight

hundred dwellings, but the flats were

increased in height and the dwellings to

nine hundred and thirty eight consisting

of between one and five bedrooms. The

original design included a community

hall able to accommodate five hundred

and twenty people and included a stage.