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a life in architecture

mrs alice snoddy

Alice Snoddy was the first person to move into Gladstone House on the Lansbury Estate in 1951. She was married and had two children.

Her old home in Poplar had been bombed, and she did not think a lot of her new one: 'I'd always lived in a house and it took a long time to get used to being shut up in a flat. I don't think my husband ever got used to it - he'd always had a shed in the back yard where he could bang and clout about, whereas he couldn't in this place. But it's very well built. They don't build like it today. You couldn't just push a nail through these walls.'

Mrs Snoddy has mixed feelings about the changes she has seen taking place on the Isle of Dogs.

'They've made a lot of improvements on the island. I don't know if it's for the better.

'Before the war, the whole length of one wall along the island was all industry - shipping and things like that - there's none of that now. It's all offices, but Canary Wharf is very nice.'

Scaffolding casts a shadow over the entrance to Mrs Snoddy's flat (pictured). Repairs are being carried out 'after 50 years'of neglect'. The flats are being sold off, and neighbours no longer know one another.

'Oh yes, the estate has changed and not for the better, ' she says.

'I don't think the world's changed for the better.'

For a study of Lansbury Estate 50 years after its completion see 'buildings in use'on pages 24-31.

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