Hansom: The way things were

Hansom new 2008

Ah, the olden days, when you could buy a house for £9 a week – and get planning permission to build one in less than eight weeks. This week, it’s all about nostalgia

Hansom new 2008

Feeling the heat

Spare a thought for politicians in pre-local election campaigning mode. On the hottest April day for 70 years, Lib Dem leader Vince Cable criss-crossed the capital by Tube to squeeze in an appearance at the Construction Products Association’s annual bash in Park Lane. After some side-swipes at Brexit and Help to Buy, he had just enough time for a few selfies with admiring product manufacturers before hot-footing it up to Chesterfield for the BBC’s Question Time. But the ex-business secretary has a somewhat downbeat assessment of his party’s prospects at the ballot box next month. “We’re not going to make spectacular progress – we’re looking for steady improvements,” he tells one of my hacks. A sentiment familiar to many in the business of forecasting construction’s performance this year, no doubt.

On the never-never

Remember the Barratt ads with that chap in the helicopter? Most of you who are of a certain age probably do, so in that sense they did their job. The housebuilder’s chief executive, David Thomas, reminds a colleague of mine that one of the ads the firm ran back then in the 1970…

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