Page 13, 11th November 1938

11th November 1938
Page 13
Page 13, 11th November 1938 — His church, built largely through the generosity of an anonymous
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People: Peter Thompson
Locations: Detroit

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His church, built largely through the generosity of an anonymous

donor of £10,000, stands in the middle of a great area of Council houses, Very neat the houses are, and solidly built-in appearance, at least; the gardens arc tidy and the streets clean. But the houses have been built on a basically uniform design, and have been built over miles of flat land. So that to walk for any time among the houses brings an alarming sense of frustration and unreality, for the scene never alters.

Only the churches and cinemas and pubs dare to be generous in the scope of their architectural design.

The priest told me that although he had no liking for mass-production methods he did not think that Ford compared, in England, at any rate, at all badly with other big industrial employers. He thought there might have been, in the first months of the establishment of the Ford works at Dagenham, some attempt to make the British workmen fall into line with high pressure efficiency methods of Detroit, but any such attempt there might have been had since been wholly abandoned.

Back I came from Dagenham to the houses of more than two stories, and no privet hedges in front of them. I was quite exhilarated to find that we do things better in Dagenham than they do in Detroit. If a band had been playing Land of Hope and Glory I think I might have wept. But, of course, no band was playing. It was Sunday night.

Peter Thompson




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