The Restoration and Rebuilding the Backs of Nos.1-15
Restoring and Rebuilding the Clissold Road Houses
The backs of the other blocks are different as we shall see.
This model shows the new rear walls and the new, low-level back additions with small patios on the roofs and steps down to the gardens. Notice the front steps from the front garden level to the basements at this end of the model. The rear garden too is raised, emphasising that the houses were first built by digging out basements into the gravel soil. Because the soil was gravel, rain would soak away and the basements would be dry. These basement houses, contrast with houses north of Stoke Newington Church Street, where the soil is London Clay and any basements would fill with water like swimming pools. North of Church Street most of the houses have no basements that can be lived but and only damp coal cellars.
Almost everything seen in this view of the model was to be newly built. The old back walls would be demolished and then the backs would be completely rebuilt, with new bricks and modern Swedish windows instead of thetraditional sash windows. On the end of the model, the architect has pasted his working drawing to show the new flats inside.
Notice the rear roof extends in one sweep over the shallow back extensions to save the complication of small extra roofs. They are really short catslide roofs.
(Identify this block)
The back of Block 9-15 has been largely rebuilt but is still under scaffolding.
The houses have a new slate roof and all the chimney pots are in place but no smoke will come out of the chimneys. The chimney pots are merely part of the Grade II restoration. (IS THIS CORRECT?) No doubt the builder will have put small ventilation grilles into the chimneys so that damp does not build up in the chimneys but the flats are heated in a completely new way. The blocks of houses have communal boilers, instead of individual fireplaces. Between the first two blocks the architects built a large communal boiler. There is a similar boiler to serve blocks three and four. These boilers were built to supply heating and hot water to all the flats in the blocks and the amount of heat that each flat used was monitored. In this way the different heating bills could be calculated.
A new slate roof and all the chimney pots are in place but no smoke will come out of the chimneys. They are merely part of the Grade II restoration. (IS THIS CORRECT?) No doubt the builder will have put small ventilation grilles into the chimneys so that damp does not build up in the chimneys but the flats are heated in a completely new way. Between the first two blocks the architects built a a large communal boiler. There is a second one between between blocks three and four. These boilers bere built to supply heating and hot water to all the flats and the amount of heat that each flat used was monitored. In this way the different heating bills were calculated.
Rebuilding the Backs of Nos. 17-31
This photograph shows a detail of the finished backs of Nos. 17-23. They are different from the backs of Nos.1-15 as we shall see.
The windows are Swedish and of an interesting design. They hinge outwards from the top. Then, having opened to a certain extent, the top of the window slides downwards and the bottom goes up. This reverses the window so that the outside glass is inwards and can be cleaned. Then the window is returned to normal.
These are the backs of the other blocks
This block has been rebuilt while Nos. 1-7 on the right has had its back walls removed and the floors are held up on steel jacks. The gardens have been separated by a narrow access passage which led to the central plot of land on which Betty Layward School has now been built.
The back elevations of Nos. 9-15, on the left, have been rebuilt and one can see the different ways in which the flats have been redesigned. Notice that the centre back additions are higher than the outside ones. The four back additions have been rebuilt, rendered in stucco and painted white. The windows vary from floor to floor and point in different directions There are two oculus (round )- (eye) windows in the central back additions. All the top flats have balconies. The second floor flats have balconies. French doors lead out to small patios on the tops of some back additions but it is not clear if these patios belong to the second or third floor flats. The first and second floor flats have long balconies but one has been glassed in as a conservatory. The ground floor flats open out into small fenced gardens. Wherever possible the trees have been retained.
On the right, the back walls of Nos. 1-7 have been completely removed and the floors are being held up on steel jacks. This means that the flats were uninhabitable at this time so the tenants must have been moved into other, temporary accommodation. There had to be a good deal of this sort of movement to fit in with the rebuilding.
The next pictures show details of the backs of the rebuilt blocks 1-7 and 9-15. Here they have metal staircases leading to the rear gardens and wooden trellis work to separate the flats.
The Insides of the Flats.
This aticle does not deal with the internal refurbishing of the flats as there is too much variety. Sufficient to say that the walls were stripped back and the old lath and plaster construction was removed. No doubt this had allowed mice to live in the space between the plaster for generations. Solid, vermin-proof walls were built instead. The L. C. C. carried out experiments on sound-proofing by using different constructions for floors and walls in different flats. They then tested them by using a special hammering machine and recording the result. These experiments would have helped in the construction of other blocks of flats elsewhere.