The Narrabundah Pre-Fabs -
A unique part of Canberra's history
The pre-fabs area of Narrabundah comprised 362 'temporary' homes built in the period 1947 to 1950 to accommodate tradesmen and their families, who came to Canberra to take part in the work needed to get the National Capital up and going after the Second World War. The area, originally comprising twenty-one streets, innovatively named First Street to 21st Street, is now that area of Narrabundah bounded by Matina Street and Kootara Crescent. In February 1978 the original streets were renamed and consolidated into thirteen streets, beginning with Bega Crescent near McMillan Circuit and ending with Nimbin Street adjacent to the Narrabundah Neighbourhood Oval.
In the mid 1980's the area became part of the NCDC's Narrabundah Regeneration Project which over the next two decades resulted in most of the original prefabricated demountable dwellings being replaced or redeveloped.
Those who settled in the pre-fab area in the early days were some of the pioneers of post-Second World War Canberra. The Narrabundah Pre-Fabs History Group commissioned a history to be written by Alan Foskett. That history, Homes for the Workers - the History of the Narrabundah PreFabs was launched on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at the Harmonie German Club, Jerrabomberra Ave, Narrabundah in front of nearly 300 people (pictured above, and more pictures here).
The book was favourably reviewed by Robert Willson in the Canberra Times on 8 August 2011 - the review is here.
Copies of Alan’s book can still be purchased (cost $30) from the Narrabundah Newsagency, the Canberra District & Historical Society (http://canberrahistory.org.au) and the Bookshop at the National Library of Australia.
Reviewed 26 November 2011