20 October 2014

Plotlander Arcadia, Farndon

The Dugout was built in the 1930s, along with many of the cabins and huts alongside the River Dee at Farndon, near Chester. The plotlanders, often city dwellers and artists, or simply those with little money, built themselves personal Arcadias on small chunks of marginal farmland, either bought or leased. Before the 1938 Holidays With Pay Act, most taking a holiday had to stay somewhere cheap, and the plotland huts were popular holiday billets.

Old railway carriages were a favourite basis for self-built cabins, extended using scrap materials. The 'movement' largely ended with the coming of WWII and the planning constraints introduced thereafter. Plotlands can have an wonderfully anarchic feel, and mutual self-help was at their root. But councils hate free-thinkers, and many plotlander cabins have been destroyed, yet Farndon thrives, and there's a similar edgeland feel to the chalets of Bewdley, Worcestershire.

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