This film is part of Free

British Home Design 1935

A stunning promotional film presenting a picture of the huge growth of suburbia in the 1930s; featuring Art Deco and British Moderne style buildings with acres of Crittal wndows.

Promotional 1935 20 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This fascinating snapshot from the 1930s shows how our forebears solved their housing crisis with a vast programme of development - creating what we now view as the archetypal suburb. With a commentary that chimes in with home-owning aspirations we see various developments around London's leafy perimeter. Extending as far south as Horsham they all offer clean and efficient modern housing within commuting distance to the metropolis while retaining their rural setting.

Davis Estates Ltd was one of several developers involved in the greatest expansion of housing Britain had ever seen. Addressing an acute housing shortage, numerous new suburbs were built in the open country that surrounded many towns and cities. This film concentrates on London and the South East and one of its selling points is the proximity of its new developments to good transport links to London – enabling one to work in the metropolis and return to one's own home in leafy suburbia. Notice how few cars there are on the streets of the new suburbs, yet the film mentions that Davis Estates' more high-end homes have a garage attached. Now you could tear up your rent book and own your own home for up to Ј950 freehold!