A Crawley Observer and Weekend Herald Supplement
The town we know today owes much to the men who in the late forties laid the foundations for Crawley New Town.
Crawley was one of eight new towns, designed not only to take London’s overspill but to embody Britain’s post-war dream.
Designed around neighbourhoods, with shopping amenities, community centres and pubs, it was to be a place where people lived and worked in harmony.
Yesterday’s dream of the future is now a part of our past.
Crawley is now looking forward to better times and meeting the challenges of the late 20th century, so what better moment to take a look back to our roots in the Observer’s special supplement.
People have lived in this area for thousands of years – Stone Age flints dating back to before 5,000BC have been found in Broadfield, which is also the site of extensive Roman ironworks.
A Bronze Age sword was found in Langley Green in 1952 and there is extensive evidence of Saxon settlement in the area in the 500 years before the Norman Conquest.
The town prospered in the Middle Ages and continued to grow, supported by the iron industry and excellent road communications, which in turn, earned Crawley a special place in the 18th Century coaching boom.
The coming of the railways bought further prosperity, and so, when the planners came to choose a site for the new, town, Crawley was the obvious choice.
24 pages. 60 photographs
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