No new town ever had a better friend than Harlow did in Derrick Knight. In ‘Faces Of Harlow’, Knight makes the not particularly exciting town look like a jet age utopia of equality and social harmony, a place where a basic kitchenette is presented as state of the art; where a prefabricated social club is presented like The Ritz; a comprehensive school like The Sorbonne.
But why not?
We know that, materially, at least, these amenities were almost certainly considerable improvements on what was there before – and far better than what the residents may have been used to in whatever part of bombed London they had been relocated from. Hot water, central heating, indoor toilets, space, a garden – all things that we take for granted - why not big it up and worry about the sociology and psychology later? Yeah, let’s do that, it’s 1964, for fuck’s sake.