Dictionary of British Housebuilders
Hardback published :
Paperback reprint :
2006 (Out of print)
On-line at Troubador Publishing or by phone on 0116 279 2299
The Dictionary of British Housebuilders is a companion volume to British Housebuilders: History and Analysis.
The Dictionary comprises 141 individual company histories of housebuilding firms spanning the whole of the twentieth century. Whilst the histories provide the corporate source material supporting the analysis in History and Analysis, they also provide some fascinating stories in their own right. Within them lie the start of sheltered housing (McCarthy and Stone); partnership housing (Lovell/Rendell); the vanished (Berg, Nash); the bankrupt (Morrell Estates, David Charles, Federated Homes); the over-ambitious (Northern Developments, Beazer); and the abandoned (nearly every contractor you can think of). The majority of the companies are no longer with us but there is also ample coverage of those still extant, from Abbey to Wimpey: they include both the quoted and the private.
As one industry leader put it, "this is a business which just wants to go wrong", and among the histories can be found almost every conceivable corporate example. Fraud and false accounting; family rows; succession problems; octogenarians who overstayed; naked ambition; diversification into other industries that failed; overseas diversification that also failed; and expansion on borrowed money at the top of the market all feature. Despite this, the Dictionary features success stories - some long gone having sold out at top prices in the early 1970s or late 1980s, and some still enjoying a profitable existence.
All human life is present!
For sample histories click Laing Homes or Broseley.
"An indispensable reference tool for a diverse potential readership, ranging from academic historians of urban development and economics to local enthusiasts chronicling the development of their own town." Construction History Society, November 2006
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