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By Fred Wellings

This exam of the improvement of the non-public housebuilding from the Thirties to the current day analyses the provision part of the undefined, and offers the 1st entire account of the company heritage of the 20 th century housing within the united kingdom.

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Extra resources for British Housebuilders: History and Analysis (Real Estate Issues)

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Thus, Lawrie Barratt does not give interviews but access was available to one ex-managing director, one ex-deputy chairman, one ex-company secretary and to others who had worked in the Company. Wates was another disappointment in view of its long-standing position in the industry but, again, several ex-directors were known. Of the 63 companies that have built over 1000 units, over 40 were already personally known before the start of the research, and all but four of the largest 25 housebuilders had been regularly interviewed.

All of this, combined with the authorship of the PHA has provided an unrivalled entrée to management at the highest level: unusually for the academic/ business interview process, I was well known to many of the interviewees and familiarisation was a two-way phenomenon. It is surprising how simplistically the interview process is treated in business history, yet how much importance is then attached to the result. For the most part, the literature treats the comments of the interviewees as non-attributable which diminishes their utility.

The Glasgow Herald, for instance, is indexed but it produced virtually nothing on John Lawrence, the city’s leading builder. No references to individual company unit volumes before the war were located in the contemporary press, but there were some interesting reflections on what had been achieved in the pre-war period in post-war issues of Housebuilder magazine. 16 These statistical snippets proved invaluable in ranking those long departed housebuilders. 15 16 Housebuilder, Nov. 1949, p. 253; Jan.

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