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Elisabeth Chat 

‘A Miners’ Town to End Squalor’,

Picture Post, December 4, 1948

Author David Mitchell

Peterlee was an ambitious new town, created for 20 mining villages in the Easington Rural District of south-east Durham. This article describes the need for the project and its development through a uniquely community-led approach.

The north-east had suffered terribly with mass unemployment in the industrial depression of the 1930s, and the article conveys the importance of improving miners’ living conditions. The New Towns Act of 1946 provided an ambitious programme for building new towns. For Peterlee, the miners had a say in its design, with a social survey undertaken by twelve miners’ wives. 

Elisabeth Chat’s humanist photographs alongside David Mitchell’s sympathetic text convey the hopeful years of post-war reconstruction.

Elisabeth Chat 

‘A Miners’ Town to End Squalor' ,

Picture Post, December 4, 1948 
© Report-IFL Archive