In my last post, I celebrated the surviving pre-war ODEONs that still operate as cinemas. It therefore seems appropriate, to follow it up with a short tribute to those less fortunate examples of the chain’s rapid 1930s expansion. As mentioned, over 80 of the 140 buildings, commissioned by the ODEON chain have since seen […]Read more "Remembering the Fallen – Pre-War ODEONs Continued"
Amongst the wealth of ground-breaking architecture that saw construction across these isles during the 1930s, the cinema must surely be considered to have had the greatest impact. No other type of building could have managed to get away with imposing such outlandish, extravagant and radical exteriors on the average British high street. Whether it was […]Read more "Survivors – The Remaining Pre-War ODEON Cinemas."
14 months ago, I assigned myself the task of researching and photographing of all of the surviving Art Deco and early modernist architecture in my home county of Worcestershire. The resulting images would then be compiled together into a booklet of some kind, with a few copies printed up for posterity. A nice straightforward achievable […]Read more "Streamline Worcestershire – Adventures With The Printed Page"
The historic naval city of Plymouth is said to have been one of, if not THE worst, victims of bombing in this country during WWII. In an attempt to obliterate the Royal Docklands at HMRN Davenport, the Luftwaffe relentlessly targeted the area between 1940 and 1944, reducing large areas of Britain’s ‘Ocean City’ […]Read more "Assets or Eyesores? Plymouth’s Art Deco Survivors"
“Why are you all taking photos?… It’s just a station!” barks a baffled commuter, as she carves through our group. It’s understandable I suppose. Millions use London’s underground tube network on a daily basis, reducing the impact of even the most awe inspiring stations to mere pieces of urban monotony, each to be navigated as swiftly and painlessly as possible. For those with […]Read more "Down in a Tube Station at Midday – Charles Holden’s Northern Piccadilly Line Masterpieces"
All over Britain countless former cinemas and theatres lay vacant, slowly deteriorating while a decision on their future is debated. A select few, largely thanks to pockets of enthusiasts and community groups, get rescued from the wrecking ball, restored and preserved for future generations to enjoy. With a professional, creative and passionate approach, many of these […]Read more "Bingo, Striptease & Jazz; A Short History of Dudley Hippodrome"
If you exclude actual buildings, I’d wager that there are few 1930’s structures in England more famous than the Penguin Pool at London Zoo. Even those with a mere cursory knowledge of the UK’s key tourist attractions will be familiar with it. Famous in period, thanks to its innovative construction and wondrous sweeping lines, it […]Read more "Animals for the Kids, Tectons for Dad – the Concrete Architecture of Dudley Zoological Gardens"
It’s unspeakably cold and bleak, but myself and my long suffering sweetheart have been granted a night away without our ‘charming’ offspring, so despite the weather, we’re determined to enjoy a mini-break. The destination of choice is Stratford upon Avon. No, we haven’t got tickets to a play, yes yes I know, because it was sold […]Read more "Startling, Monstrous, Brutal, Magical – An Introduction to Scott’s RSC Memorial Theatre"
A weeks holiday in mid-November presented the family with an important decision; enjoy a staycation to catch up on the ever growing list of chores, or escape to an exotic location for some much needed recuperation. A vote was taken, with the latter emerging as the surprise victor. Suggested factors for determining the destination included sun, sea, sand, softplay centres, swimming pools, sorbets […]Read more "Winter in the Southern Sunshine: The Art Deco Magpie Visits Bournemouth"
I was recently fortunate enough to pick up a copy of marvellous book entitled ‘Recent English Architecture 1920-1940’. Its a small hard back compendium, published by Country Life in 1947, containing 63 of images of English architectural highlights from the inter-war years. Selected by the Architecture Club, it served as an epitaph to the groundbreaking design from this […]Read more "Recent English Architecture 1920-1940 – Then & Now"