AN AMBITIOUS project delving into the history of an iconic Swindon post-war construction project has officially launched.

Historic England teamed up with Goddard Park Primary School to help youngsters learn about what it was like to help create thousands of Easiform houses all over the town.

Year 4 pupils quizzed pensioners who worked for the sites’ managers Laing in fun and fascinating workshops held at the school in October.

John McGuinness was a cost surveyor with Laing during the 1960s and enjoyed sharing his experiences with the younger generation.

He said: “I hope the workshop gave the children insight into the urgent housing shortages in the 1950s and 1960s after the Second World War, and the new and innovative methods of house construction which were used in their area.

“As someone who trained with Laing and later worked on a wide range of sites in various roles, I am delighted to have taken part in this project.

“The sites I worked on ranged from brick and concrete housing to projects including the London Central Mosque and the British Library.”

The workshops were held at the school because the 4,000th and 5,000th Easiform houses were both built within walking distance of it.

Photos from that historic development have been digitised for the first time and made available online for all to see, along with thousands of other never-before-seen images from the John Laing Photographic Collection.

Pupils will get to see the archive in person when they visit Historic England’s archive at its Swindon office later this year. Plus, their workshops will be featured in a film celebrating the Breaking New Ground project by Historic England and the John Laing Charitable Trust.

Breaking New Ground outreach officer Ashley Mackenzie-White said: “It’s great that Swindon pupils have enjoyed these interactive workshops.

“Through the digitisation of 3,500 photos, with another 7,500 on the way, other locals around the town will get to see beautiful portraits of the past.

“A lot of the Easiform housing built back then is still standing but some of the schools have now been knocked down or turned into something else.”

Swindon is one of four main sites picked to be part of the project.