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.
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.
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!
Then a swift right into the lea of the Faraday Building.
Walking beneath the Faraday Tower and looking back.
To our right Fulton House – This was built 1958-62 by Sir Percy Thomas & Son – design partner Norman Thomas. The decorative scheme in the main hall is by Misha Black; the panels ofThe Rape of Europa by Ceri Richards are an addition of 1970.
Fulton House, which was called College House from when it first opened in 1961 until 1986, is one of the most historically significant buildings on the Singleton Campus. Throughout the early 1950s, extensive plans were put in place to expand the Singleton site. At the core of this vision was a large building that could act as a meeting place, and a social and academic hub. This is what it became after 1961. The building contained common rooms, a music room, a coffee lounge, an extra library, a book shop and a barber’s shop.
This large wall hanging measuring H305cm x W620cm hangs on the wall opposite the Ceri Richards paintings. The hangings were very dusty and the nails holding the piece up were rusty. We were able to interview the artist to find out more about how the hanging was made. Glyn Jones used a blow torch to apply pitch and PVA medium to canvas and skrim fabric that he then attached to a geometric rope structure. Gouache paint was used and a solvent fixative spray allowed the colours to become imbibed into the PVA film. The hanging was made in six panels and then the horizontal rope ends glued together on site. These glued attachments had failed several times in the past and Jones had fixed them. With his permission we decided to come up with a new approach to these fixings. After cleaning the panels, we adhered magnets into the ends of the ropes so that they would click together easily. We reinforced the vertical ropes between the sections with nylon thread. Strong polyester was attached to the back of the top edge allowing a new hanging system where the strips were screwed into the wooden fixing battens. The hanging now looks much brighter and more colourful and detaching rope problem has been permanently resolved.
This generously spaced mural in the form of three splendid green, red, and blue shields in glazed plastic material and black cording is a creation in which the artist, Mr Glyn Jones symbolically portrays the Holy Trinity
The centre shield, in green, represents God the Father as creator and sustainer.
On the right of the centre shield, that is on the right hand of God the Father, is the red shield which represents our Lord and Saviour.
On the left of the centre shield, that is, on the left hand of God the Father, is the blue shield which represents the Holy Spirit.
In other ways the mural is modern in its abstract technique. Its basic symbolism is simple: a shield is for protection and green fertility sustains all life. Mr Glyn Jones is to be congratulated on a study which appealingly and joyfully presents the Holy Trinity as a protective and creative life-force that is yet associated with the Cross. His is a new and attractive achievement in the artistic tradition of Celtic Christianity.
Controversially plans for a £30 million Student Activity Centre at Swansea University’s Singleton campus have been revealed.
Bosses say the centre will form part of a new Student Precinct and, subject to planning permission, will replace the former Digital Technium building which was built in 2003 at a cost of £9.5million.
The scheme will replace the existing Digital Technium building and will be linked to the adjacent Grade II listed Fulton House, which will also be refurbished. Together, they will form the core of the new Student Precinct. Designs to resolve the surrounding streetscape and provide new access routes across the campus are also included.
Peter Moro is the forgotten co-designer of the Royal Festival Hall. A German émigré who had worked with Berthold Lubetkin’s famed practice, Tecton, in the 1930s, Moro was drafted in to help realise the Festival Hall in just two short years, in time for the Festival of Britain in 1951. With a team of his former students, he created many of the interiors we see today. For Moro, the Festival Hall was a stepping-stone to a career designing many of Britain’s finest post-war theatres, particularly Nottingham Playhouse, Plymouth Theatre Royal, and the renovated Bristol Old Vic. He and his colleagues also designed some exceptional one-off houses, as well as exhibitions, university buildings, schools, and council housing, collaborating with leading talents such as the designer Robin Day.
Set in the heart of Swansea University’s Singleton campus we exist to enrich the cultural lives of individuals and communities across the region, presenting arts experiences for audiences in our spaces and on the streets of Swansea.
Carl Cozier aka Holy Moly has added decorative details to the site.
Next door the Keir Hardie Building and its Neighbour the James Callaghan Building.
Heading back on ourselves toward the Wallace Building.
Percy Thomas was commissioned to design new buildings for science and engineering, but these plans were thwarted by cost constraints. However, following the appointment of John Fulton as principal in 1947, Thomas was re-engaged to prepare a new development plan.
The earliest halls can be seen at the centre of this postcard.
Also to the left of this later postcard.
This card shows the Singleton campus of Swansea University. Top right, the abbey which was the university’s original building; beyond that the houses around St Helens – the sports ground where in August 1968 Sir Gary Sobers scored six sixes in an over for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan.
Manchester City Council agreed to use the Phoenixmodel for their prefab estates.
A total of 43,206 Phoenix prefabs were built across the country, each one designed by the John Laing Group.
The Phoenix, designed by Laing and built by themselves as well as partners McAlpine and Henry Boot, looked much like an AIROH with a central front door. It was a two-bedroom in-situ preform design with steel frame, asbestos clad walls and an innovative roof of tubular steel poles with steel panels attached. Like all designs, it came pre-painted in magnolia, with green highlights on frames and skirting.
Phoenix prefabs cost £1,200 each constructed onsite, while the specially insulated version designed for use on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides cost £2,000.