Faced with the problem of very high volumes of through traffic in its town centre, and with the impending construction of the M62 too far to the south to provide relief for the town, Halifax needed a bypass. The steep sided valley that the town centre inhabits prevented a conventional road from being built around the town, and so in the early 1970’s construction began on Burdock Way – one of the most adventurous relief road schemes built in Britain, certainly by a town the size of Halifax.
Only one phase of the futuristic road was ever built, but what exists is a partially grade-separated dual carriageway that runs through deep trenches and over tall viaducts close to the heart of the town. At its eastern end is a truly byzantine piece of traffic engineering that stretches the definition of a roundabout to its limit.
In October 1971 the official celebrations went anything but according to plan. It had been decided to give the people of Halifax a half day holiday so they could attend the opening, but there were not enough police on duty to control the sightseers. It was impossible to get complete silence for the speeches and arrangements to tell the artillery guns at Southowram Road when to fire broke down. They were fired prematurely while an archdeacon was offering prayers. The Mayor, HC McCrae, finally managed to announce that the bridge was officially open and he scurried back to the town hall where he hosted a banquet.
Burdock Way has never been fully completed as it is missing certain sections envisaged in the early 1960s plans. There are a number of reasons for this, but it is mainly owing to West Yorkshire County Council’s cost cutting in the 1970s.
This is the Valley of the Gwangi in the West Riding – minus the dinosaurs.
An urban chasm, the gulf between everything and nothing.
North Bridge is a Victorian iron and stone bridge crossing the valley of the River Hebble, connecting the town to roads to Bradford and Leeds. Replacing an earlier six arch stone bridge it was raised to allow the subsequent construction of the Halifax High Level Railway beneath it, along with an adjoining station.
Opened in 1871 amid chaotic crowd scenes it carried increasingly heavy traffic until it was by-passed by the Burdock Way in 1973.
I caught the 51 Bus from the Bus Exchange – and the ever so helpful fellow passengers put me off at the right stop.
The church is set back from the road and sands in substantial grounds – visible through the surrounding houses.
A large site at the corner of Plas Newton Lane and Newhall Road was acquired, and a new church designed by the architects LAG Prichard, Son & Partners. The design embodied the ideals of Vatican II, with no seating more than fifty feet from the altar. It was designed for 675 people. The foundation stone was laid in September 1964 by Canon Murphy, and the 115 ft spire lowered into position in December 1964. The first Mass was on 19 December 1965, and the church was officially opened in 1966 by Bishop Grasar. St Columba was the third new Catholic church to be built in Chester after the Second World War.
The only glazing to survive from the original church scheme is small triangles of glazing on the sanctuary elevation and the dalle de verre-style baptistery window by Hans Unger & E Schulze.
Unger & Schulze ran a prominent mosaic and glass studio in London from 1960-74, and provided a large mosaic for another LAG Prichard church in 1965, St Jude’s in Worsley Mesnes– Wigan.
The coloured glazing depicting St Columba, Christ and the apostles was added in 1986.
Having cycled from Prestatyn, I popped into reception to ask permission to photograph the exterior of the HQ.
Following a short wait, I was granted permission.
The building is an imposing steel, concrete and glass system built structure of 1972, with brick outliers on a grassy site.
It has undergone adaptation to modern eco-standards.
The administration building for North Wales Police, located in Colwyn Bay, was typical of the breed: a 1970s leaky and draughty concrete-framed building with high solar gains, especially on the South and West facades. It consumed a lot of energy and delivered very poor comfort conditions.
The budget for the refurbishment was set at around £2.4 million. North Wales Police appointed Capita Symonds as the Project Manager with the design team comprising FSP Architects, Buro Happold, WS Atkins, and Faithful+Gould.
A system of brise-soleil solar shading was provided for the East, South and West facades. Combined with the reduced area of glazing, the brise soleil reduced the solar gains enough to avoid the need for mechanical cooling and for the natural ventilation strategy to be retained.
The company which has been printing for more than 155 years – has been hit hard by the crash in bingo hall use as Covid ripped through the leisure sector. CEO Paddy Cronin said he was ‘gutted’ but the business had finally had to face the inevitable as the cashflow dried up.
Covid completely changed the market and as the halls went into decline it just became untenable so I had to break the news to the workers.
They were the pioneers of newspaper bingo, printing the first cards in 1975 and going on to work in places like Bolivia and Belgium and even printing the ballot papers for Nelson Mandela’s 1994 election in South Africa.
So their number is up the factory is tinned-up, house has been called for the very last time.
Yeah, yeah, industrial estate
Well you started here to earn your pay Clean neck and ears on your first day Well we tap one another as you walk in the gate And we’d build a canteen but we haven’t got much space
It was decided to build a new church in 1963, when the architects Burles, Newton & Partners were appointed and drew up a scheme for a church seating 470. Financial restraints delayed the start of building work until 1966. The contractors were William Thorpe and the foundation stone was laid by Bishop Burke in October 1967. The church was opened two years later in 1969. The church was built to reflect the emerging liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, with a wide interior affording full views of the altar. The same architects designed a presbytery, added in 1974-5. A sanctuary reordering took place at some point when the Blessed Sacrament Chapel became the Lady Chapel and the tabernacle was placed behind the altar. The altar rails were removed, and the sanctuary carpeted. Perhaps at the same time the font was brought from the baptistery into the body of the church.
All orientations given are liturgical. The church is a steel-framed structure with loadbearing gable walls built on a series of rafts to guard against mining subsidence. It was designed to ensure that the congregation would have unimpeded views of the sanctuary, and the architects described the layout as ‘in conformity with the Spirit of the new Constitution’. The plan is near rectangular, angled at the east end, with a striking roof swooping up at the east end and trios of sharply pointed gables on each side.
The building is entered on the northwest side via a low porch which gives to a narthex and a former baptistery lit by a pyramidal roof light, attached on the west side. Light pours in to the narthex from a screen with semi-abstract stained glass with the ox symbol of St Luke, an original fixture. The nave is an impressive and memorable space with the boarded roof forming dramatic shapes which frame the east end and sanctuary, where a pair of full-height slit windows are angled to cast light without creating glare and frame a Crucifix. The roof rises up on each side of the big triangular windows on the north and south sides. Those to the south have stained glass showing the Tree of Life the True Vine and the Cross of Faith designed by Roy Coomber of Pendle Stained Glass in 2002-3. There is a cantilevered west gallery with a pipe organ set into the wall above it and a southeast chapel, now a Lady Chapel, formerly of the Blessed Sacrament, with stained glass on sacramental themes. A Pietà in the chapel probably originated in the previous church. The tabernacle, of stainless steel with high relief abstract modelling, was repositioned behind the altar at the time of the reordering. This item and the sanctuary Crucifix with a gilded figure are by an unknown artist. Stations of the Cross are by Harold Riley, installed in circa 2003. They consist of triptychs executed in pencil and wash. Other works by Riley include a study of the Virgin dated 2003 and a print of his painting Our Lady of Manchester.
Three nineteen-storey point blocks built as public housing as part of the redevelopment of Sunderland town centre. The blocks contain 270 dwellings in total. Construction was approved by committee in 1967.
The blocks were constructed by Sunderland County Borough Council.
The developers of the Town Central Area were Town and City Properties Ltd. It is believed that they contributed £38,600 to the development of the blocks.
Ian Frazer and Associates were the architects for the sub-structural works only.
Llewelyn, Davies, Weeks and Partners were the structural and mechanical engineers in addition to being the architects for the tower blocks.
Gilbert-Ash Northern Ltd.’s tender for the contract was £959,258 – construction began in March 1967.
Black’s Regal Theatre was built on the site of the Olympia Exhibition Hall and Pleasuredrome 1897-1910 and it was built for the northern independent Black’s circuit. It opened on 28th March 1932 with Jessie Matthews in Out of the Blue.
The theatre was equipped with a Compton three manual, nine ranks theatre organ which had an Art Deco style console on a lift.
This was opened by organist J Arnold Eagle. The policy of the theatre for many years was pictures and variety and it had a fifty seven feet wide proscenium, the stage was forty feet deep and there were ten dressing rooms. Other facilities included a cafe and roller rink.
In 1955 the Black’s circuit was taken over by the Rank Organisation and the Regal was re-named Odeon from 28th November 1955. It was divided into a three screen cinema in 1975 with 1,200 seats in the former circle and two 150 seat screens in the rear stalls.
On 28th March 1982 a special 50th Anniversary concert was given by Phil Kelsall on the Compton organ. Three months later, on 26th June 1982 the Odeon was closed with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Star Wars & The Empire Strikes Back, Mary Millington’s True Blue Confessions.
The building was boarded up and abandonded for a long period of time.
However it was to re-open as a Top Rank Bingo Club and remains in use today as a Mecca Bingo Club. The sub-division of the auditorium has been removed. In July 2009, it was announced that the building and the entire block had been the subject of a compulsory purchase order.
Opened on 1st March 1937 with Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers in Swing Time, the Ritz Cinema was built by the Union Cinemas chain. They were soon taken over by Associated British Cinemas – ABC. It was lavishly fitted with deep pile carpets and chandeliers.
In 1961 it was re-named ABC. It was converted into a two screen cinema from July/August 1974 when the former circle became a 534 seat screen and the front stalls a second screen seating 212. The rear stalls area was converted into a Painted Wagon pub. Sadly the conversion destroyed much of the original interior of the auditorium. It was later taken over by the Cannon Cinemas group, but later went back to the ABC name.
Sadly it closed on 29th April 1999, the last of Sunderland’s major cinemas.
It has recently reopened as The Point a nightclub which has four dance floors and has now completely lost all features of its cinematic past.
Construction of Killingworth, a new town, began in 1963. Intended for 20,000 people, it was a former mining community, formed on seven hundred and sixty acres of derelict colliery land near Killingworth Village. The building of Killingworth Township was undertaken by Northumberland County Council and was not formally a New Town sponsored by the Government.
Unlike that town, Killingworth’s planners adopted a radical approach to town centre design, resulting in relatively high-rise buildings in an avant-garde and brutalist style that won awards for architecture, dynamic industry and attractive environment.
This new town centre consisted of pre-cast concrete houses, with millions of small crustacean shells unusually embedded into their external walls, five to ten storey flats, offices, industrial units and service buildings, which often consisted of artistic non-functional characteristics, shops and residential multi-storey car parks, interconnected by ramps and walkways. These made up a deck system of access to shopping and other facilities, employing the Swedish Skarne method of construction.
This joint-stock bank was established in Manchester in 1836 as Manchester & Salford Bank by a group of promoters keen to take advantage of recent legislation allowing the formation of joint-stock banks outside London. The bank had up to 15 directors and the issued capital was £1m, of which £252,100 was paid up by December 1836.
RIBA Pix: Headquarters building for William Deacon’s Bank Limited – Mosley Street Manchester: the garden at podium level.
Harry S Fairhurst & Son 1965
The first shareholders’ meeting, in May 1836, took place in temporary premises, but in August 1836 a banking house was rented in King Street. Land off Mosley Street was later acquired and a new banking house completed in 1838.
In 1969 The Royal Bank of Scotland was restructured and Williams Deacon’s became a direct subsidiary of a new holding company, National & Commercial Banking Group. The following year the holding company’s subsidiaries in England and Wales – Williams Deacon’s Bank, Glyn, Mills & Co and the English and Welsh branches of The National Bank – merged to form Williams & Glyn’s Bank.
In 1972 Williams & Glyn’s Bank joined with five other European banks to form the Inter Alpha Banks Group to exploit opportunities in the European Economic Community. In 1985 The Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s two major subsidiary holdings, Williams & Glyn’s Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland, were fully merged as The Royal Bank of Scotland plc.
The very merry monopolies and mergers merry dance – consequently this perfectly formed Modernist bank stands alone and forlorn.
Derby’s Eagle Market, which has been open for nearly 50 years, is set to close for good in around six months from now. The indoor market is expected to shut down in March, traders were told in a memo late last month.
The long-standing city centre market has undergone major changes since opening in 1975. Over the past 46 years, dozens of traders have come and gone, from fruit and veg sellers to fine clothes retailers, pottery makers.
The nut stall that is greatly missed by nut fans.
Singer Frankie Vaughan opens Jack’s Rainwear at the market in 1976.
When it first opened, the venue was a maze of hexagonal stalls, which gave it a futuristic look, but it was a confusing layout and it was difficult to navigate and find the stall you wanted. The hexagons came down in 1990 in favour of a more traditional, open layout which made the market easier to escape in the event of a fire.
The Modernist modular structure replaced by a higher High-Tech roofing solution.
Petes Heel bar will be missed, along with his missing apostrophe.
The redevelopment masterplan includes new homes and commercial uses with new public spaces and walkable streets that will integrate the site with the rest of the City Centre and improve new connections to the river. There is scope to introduce some tall buildings to make better use of the site with new food and beverage, leisure and other activity at ground floor level. The proposals will contribute towards the Council’s vision in a way that responds positively to the site context including surrounding character areas.
The soft clays of the cliffs are subject to constant erosion.
In 2008 fresh landslips have occurred around Cayton Bay. The bungalows built on the old holiday camp at Osgodby Point have started to suffer serious erosion. The cliffs around the Cornelian and Cayton areas are just made of soil. So erosion is to be expected. It may taken time. But there is not much which can be done to prevent the seas moving in.
The Pumping Station was partially demolished in 1956.
Several well worn layers of geological time have been hanging around for a while now.
Whilst the long-gone critters are but fossilised versions of their former selves.
The rocks found at Cayton Bay are Jurassic aged from the Callovian stage. At the north end of Cayton Bay, the Cornbrash Formation can be seen, comprised of red-brown, sandy, nodular, bioturbated limestone with oysters and other bivalves.The Cornbrash lies beneath the start of the Cayton Clay Formation. Walking south towards Tenant’s Cliffs, Lower Calcareous Grit is brought to beach level, followed by a calcareous limestone. At the waterworks, low tides reveals a section in the Middle and Upper Jurassic rocks.
On scouring tides, argillaceous limestone and calcareous sandstone can be seen layered along the Upper Leaf of the Hambleton Oolite, which is seen excellently in the low cliff on the southern side of the Brigg. The tough, impure limestone contains well-preserved bivalves and ammonites. The sequence is shown in the diagram but faulting has caused unconformities.
During scouring, Oxford Clay can be seen along the foreshore south of the argillaceous limestone. Walking further south, Red Cliff is reached, where rocks of the Osgodby Formation slope above the Oxford Clay.
Originally the first Trade Union holiday camp in the North of England, owned by NALGO it opened its doors in 1933. It had 124 wooden bungalows, accommodating 252 visitors. A dining hall with waiter service, a rest room along with recreation rooms for playing cards, billiards, a theatre for indoor shows and dancing was also provided. The new centre also provided Tennis courts, Bowling greens along with a children’s play area. The visitors could walk to the beach where there was a sun terrace and beach house which also had a small shop.
One of the earliest visitors were the family of poet Philip Larkin and during the Second World War it became a home for evacuated children from Middlesbrough.
The NALGO camp closed in 1974 and was later sold.
The wide sandy bay was an ideal location for WW2 pillboxes and gun emplacements – anticipating a possible North Sea invasion.
They too are built quite literally on shifting sands.
The pillbox – one of many built along the coast to defend against an invasion during World War II – had started to break down, leaving one large piece of stone in a precarious position.
Rob Shaw, of Ganton, noticed the large slab was propped up dangerously against another piece of stone last September.
He said he reported his concerns to Scarborough Borough Council then, but that nothing was done until last month.
The dad-of-two said before the work:
I used to work in construction and I would have been fired if I had left a lump of concrete like that, it could weigh four or five tonnes.
It just needs lying flat on the sand so it can’t fall on anyone.
A spokesperson for Scarborough Borough Council said the council had assessed the pillbox and arrangements had been made for the problem section to be removed.
The Scarborough News
This unstable cliff-top structure was allegedly hastened bay-wards by the Council.
Claims that we pushed the pillbox off the cliff are untrue – our colleagues have many amazing talents but pushing huge concrete structures is not one of them. The structure people can see at the base of the cliff is the other section of the pillbox that has been on the beach for many years.
Having taken a particular interest in this particular piece of public art for some time – I need to go and take a little look.
But what will we see along the way, as we hasten along Rochdale Road?
Which once looked like this, way back when in 1904.
Though some things inevitably come and go, as some things are prone to do.
The city is undergoing yet another reinvention as Manchester becomes – an attractive place to invest and do business.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Once there was a gas works here – adjoining Gould Street, seen here in 1958.
The Gould Street Gas Works was a gas manufacturing plant located in Manchester, England. Originally built in 1824, the plant was operated by the Manchester Corporation Gas Department and was in operation from 1833 to 1969. It was named after the street on which it was located, which was named after John Gould, who was a prominent Manchester businessman in the 19th century.
The Gasworks New Town neighbourhood is one of seven envisioned by the £4bn Victoria North masterplan. It will feature nine buildings ranging from 8 to 34 storeys. The 6.6-acre site has most recently been home to a car park but the green development will overwhelmingly prioritise walking and cycling over driving. It will result in tens of millions of pounds being pumped into the city’s economy over the lifetime of the development.
Plans for a trailblazing city centre regeneration scheme that will create more than 1200 homes has been approved by Manchester City Council.
The area is in the process of being reconfigured as a delightful country park.
The investment will also help develop an initial phase of the planned City River Park incorporating St Catherine’s Wood as part of a network of public open space, including improvements along the River Irk and works to improve flood resilience, unlocking the potential of the Irk Valley that will characterise the wider Northern Gateway project.
The first phase of the City River Park will begin work to transform former railway architecture to develop the new Viaduct Linear Park north of Victoria Train Station, new stepped public realm space – Red Bank Terraces, along with new green space by the River Irk and the key improvements to St Catherine’s Wood.
Collingham Street is lined with trucks, trailers, stalls and mobile homes.
But there’s nothing temporary about this Cheetham Hill neighbourhood; most residents have lived here for years and many plan to spend the rest of their lives here.
Founded more than forty years ago, it was created by the Showman’s Guild of Great Britain – and it’s reserved exclusively for fairground workers both retired and current.
Built on Queens Road tip, a former rubbish dump, and rented out by Manchester Council, many of the 52 homes belong to older retired showmen or families for whom an itinerant lifestyle has become more challenging.
It’s a close-knit community with a unique shared history.
Though not without its own particular issues it would seem, according to the MEN.
The licensing out of hours team has received noise complaints relating to the premises which was found to be open beyond permitted hours when visited. Officers also identified breaches of the Health Act during inspections in which people were seen smoking shisha pipes in an enclosed extension at the back.
We will leave the Flamingo be and head back into town – but not without giving a nod to this confusing collision between this self-made scrapyard-man chic gate and the ever changing skyline of overheated urban regeneration.
The new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
In his postcard, Phyl writes that the weather is nice, he has a self-catering apartment near a pond, but complains about the expensive cost of Spanish bread at £1 a loaf.
Although it was delivered to the right address on the card, Mr Davies said he has no clue who either Phyl or Mrs Leon could be.
I’ve been baffled by it really.
I suppose Mrs Leon once lived in my flat, but I’ve asked around neighbours who have lived here twenty or thirty years, and none of them have ever heard of her.
The Post Office say they have no idea what could have happened to the postcard for twenty nine years, may be it got stuck in a sorting machine, may be given that it’s got both British and Spanish stamps on it, someone found it and posted it on.
Really I’d just like to find out who either Phyl or Mrs Leon are, so I could finally give it to them after all this time.
Curiously the story does not reproduce the picture of the picture postcard.
Dear Eddie, this is a very pleasant place and the weather is just right. The food is very expensive though over £1 for a loaf of bread! We have a self catering little apartment by the side of a pond complete with ducks.
There is something very poignant about the handwritten reportage of holidays past and also a sadness attached to the blank other side -sentiments forever unsent.
I’ve looked at life from both sides now From win and lose and still somehow It’s life’s illusions I recall I really don’t know life at all
We are all going somewhere or nowhere or other – we report back.
Having a nice relaxing holiday. Not had good weather. Got caught in rain on Friday have lost my voice. Uncle Jim laughing
Auntie Ethel & Jim
Hope Leslies finger is coming on alright
20th August 1968
Hello Sharon, hope you are as happy as can be. Sorry I can’t tell you anything about your country, as I’ve never been; not yet anyway.
23rd April 1979
Dear Rita, here we are enjoying our holiday with Frank, Jacky & Stuart. The weather has been very poor, but there is an improvement today. Hope all is well with you. Lynn her husband and the little ones are visiting on thursday, so we shall have a real tea-party.
More recently it has had a renaissance under the stewardship of local lad Louis Beckett.
The community centre now provides space for local bands to rehearse, local artists to exhibit their work, a community cafe and larger function rooms that are available for events.
A wide range of events takes place here through the year including live gigs, pantomines, Halloween parties, cabaret nights and art exhibitions, and since 2012 it’s been home to the Moston Small Cinema which screens a range of films and sporting events.
I popped by a couple of weeks ago and was given a terrific tour by Paula and Lou, along with a competitively priced tasty brew and breakfast.
Work was underway for the current Art Show and evidence of the club’s affable affiliation with FC Unitedof Manchester, along with the results of the previous week’s art activities for the local youngsters.
Let’s take a look around outside and in.
Keep an eye and ear out for forthcoming events – get y’self up there soon!
So I walked along the edge of the bay and cut up through the park to the University.
Singleton Park, and the Abbey, in which the university sits, were given to the borough of Swansea by John Henry Vivian, the 19th century Swansea copper magnate. The abbey was given to the university in 1923, but other campus developments, by and large, had to wait until after WW2, when a significant building programme was undertaken
The University’s foundation stone was laid by King George V on 19 July 1920 and 89 students (including eight female students) enrolled that same year. By September 1939, there were 65 staff and 485 students.
In 1947 there were just two permanent buildings on campus: Singleton Abbey and the library. The Principal, J S Fulton, recognised the need to expand the estate and had a vision of a self-contained community, with residential, social and academic facilities on a single site. His vision was to become the first university campus in the UK.
By 1960 a large-scale development programme was underway that would see the construction of new halls of residence, the Maths and Science Tower, and College House – later renamed Fulton House. The 1960s also saw the development of the “finite element method” by Professor Olek Zienkiewicz. His technique revolutionised the design and engineering of manufactured products, and Swansea was starting to stake its claim as an institution that demanded to be taken seriously.
Work began on the student village at Hendrefoelan in 1971, the South Wales Miners’ Library was established in 1973 and the Taliesin Arts Centre opened on campus in 1984. The Regional Schools of Nursing transferred to Swansea in 1992, and the College of Medicine opened in 2001. Technium Digital was completed in 2005 and, barely two years later, the University opened its Institute of Life Science, which commercialises the results of research undertaken in the Swansea University Medical School. Work commenced on a second Institute of Life Science in 2009.
Having been gifted the Singleton Abbey – the 1937 Library was the first new build on the site.
A competition was held in 1934 to find an architect to design a new library building.
The winner was Verner Owen Rees, a London architect with Welsh heritage. The Library opened in the autumn of 1937 and was known as the ‘New Library’, and has later become known as the ‘1937’ or ‘Law’ Library. Miss Olive Busby, who had been the University’s librarian since 1920, moved to this new building and was famous for patrolling it for the next twenty years, ensuring everyone was being quiet!