Monday, 7 September 2020


Lion Farm - still with us, just.

 I have become an autodidact. I had to look it up before admitting it. 

One definition: Generally, autodidacts are individuals who choose the subject they will study, their studying material, and the studying rhythm and time. 

My chosen field is modern architecture 1900 to the present. My education is taking me to all kinds of wonderful places, like the Lion Farm Estate.


Part of my studies involves watching Jonathan Meads on YouTube. One of the programs was a documentary on the Lion Farm Estate, tellingly narrated by Mr Meads made by photographer Rob Clayton 1990. 


Enjoy the film here


Lion Farm Estate is a housing estate near Oldbury in the West Midlands Borough of Sandwell and Dudley. The estate was built in the 1960’s. By 1980 the place was falling apart from neglect and a victim of Tory ‘right to buy’ policy in the Housing act of 1980. Several of the towers have been demolished (2015). And last year some gluttonous developer was courting the council to turn the playing fields into a £200m outlet village.


Clayton’s work, photographs as well as the film, have been widely exhibited across the UK in 2015 and there were plans muted for a follow up work on Lion Farm.





Conservative governments are still pushing right to own, allowing speculating investors were able to buy up council properties hastening the rise in property costs. Commercially and socially valuable council assets continue to be sold at below their market value or replacement cost another waste of public money; The remaining stock of council housing (akin to Lion Farm) is concentrated in undesirable areas with little employment opportunity, further isolating and stigmatising the people that make their home there.


Moreover Tories are set to unleash a building frenzy as announced earlier in August. Adjustments to UK planning laws have Boris’ own rabid supporters taking up arms.

Is it any wonder we have a housing shortage, perennially.

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim