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Art Deco in Groningen (i)

Groningen was a happy hunting ground for Art Deco. On the way in to the town centre past the Museum I saw the side of a building that looked a bit deco (vertical features) but made of what I thought was modern brick so passed on.

Just further along though I came on this very Egyptianate (and so true deco) shop. Le Souk:-

Not too far on was this:-

Just off the Vis Markt (fish market – absolutely heaving the day we were there) was Sumo:-

This was later, from across the market after we had circled round Groningen:-

Some time later we got back to the lane we had come up from the Museum and I realised that the earlier brick building I mentioned above was Deco. Might it be a cinema? Brilliant verticals and horizontals, flagpole, little square windows, detailing picked out in red and yellow. Delightful.

I had hoped the photo would show the vertical brickwork in the lane but sadly it hasn’t. What had alerted me to it was this stunning window on the main road:-

Melton Mowbray (i)

We spent the first night away from home in a hotel just outside Derby. On our way there from the motorway we travelled along Brian Clough Way, a nondescript, even dowdy, dual carriageway. Surely there’s a better way to commemorate the man. In the morning we drove into Derby but didn’t know of any suitable parking space so gave up after a drive around the inner ring road and skedaddled back along Mr Clough’s memorial road, taking a right towards the South at Nottingham. (A curiosity was we came across two roundabouts that had roads through their middles, something I’ve never seen before. Is it a Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire thing?)

We stopped at Melton Mowbray, “the Rural Capital of Food.” (Well, 3 years ago we went to Bakewell.) Unfortunately it was market day and the place was heaving. As a result I couldn’t get a photograph of the Pork Pie shop (there was a stall in the way) but we did buy a pie and very nice it was too. Enough for lunch that day and the next. We passed on the Stilton cheese though.

What I didn’t expect was Art Deco. The place is liberally strewn with it. Remarkable for a relatively small town.

The first thing I saw on leaving the car park was the brick side of what looked like a school building but is (now, at any rate,) the King Street Building of Brooksby Melton College.

A bit rectilinear but nice iron work protecting the small windows flanking the entrance. The fan light above the door is good as is the frieze on the portico. Amazingly the windows don’t seem to have been mucked about with.

The next building along is also Deco! The Regal Cinema is a stunner. The decoration on it is sublime. It’s still a working cinema.

See more here.


Art Deco Cinema in Danger, Cheltenham

Today I had a comment on my Art Deco in Cheltenham post.

It contained this link.

Apparently the Odeon Cinema (which I did not encounter when I was in Cheltenham but I have found the photo below at is in danger of being demolished and in particular the friezes of two naked ladies which adorn its frontage may be lost to Cheltenham.

Odeon cinema Cheltenham

The link in the comment – which I repeat here – is to a petition to save the friezes (- and I would hope the whole building.) I urge anyone interested in Art Deco to sign it, as I have.

Kirkcaldy (And District)’s Lost Art Deco Heritage. 5. Regal Cinema, Leslie

Today we strolled around the small town of Leslie in Fife, hard by Glenrothes.

The last time we were there, a good few years ago now – probably before I had a digital camera, I’m sure the old cinema was still standing. Today it was a gap site. I’ve no idea when the building was demolished but it’s a shame, as the following image (from the Scottish cinemas website) shows.

Regal Cinema, Leslie

I had hoped to photograph it myself but no chance now. The logo below is on the same page of the Scottish Cinemas website.

Regal logo

Modern Glasgow 1

Glasgow seems to have a liking for bulbous grey architecture.

This started with the building whose construction saw it immediately dubbed the Armadillo. Its “Sunday” name is the Clyde Auditorium. It sits on the north bank of the Clyde in Finnieston right by the Crowne Plaza Hotel (where Eastercon was held this year) and the SECC and has certain structural similarities to the Sydney Opera House.

On the other side of the River Clyde lie more examples. The nearest to the camera here is Glasgow’s IMAX cinema. The other silvery building is the Glasgow Science Centre of which the tall white tower on the left is also a part.

This is a closer view of the IMAX. It looks like a giant silver slug. The entrance is on the other side.

And here’s the Science Centre closer up.

And the Science Centre from the north bank of the river. The paddle steamer Waverley is at anchor.

Better view of the Waverley, the last remaining ocean-going paddle steamer in the world.

Glasgow’s newest concert venue is the latest addition to the bulbous grey architecture fixation. It’s the Hydro.

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 33: Peebles

I’m a bit late with this. I visited Peebles (in the Scottish Borders) in August.

I missed its War Memorial but was pleasantly surprised to find several deco shops.

This shop is at the east end of the High Street:-

Art Deco Shop Peebles

Here’s a close-up on the roof detailing:-

Detail on Art Deco Shop Peebles

Again on the High Street, the Bank of Scotland building. Lower frontage and windows have the look:-

Art Deco Bank Peebles

The former Playhouse Cinema:-

Art Deco Shop Peebles

Only really the roof-line here. If it’s the same Caldwell’s as in nearby Innerleithen the ice cream is very good:-

Art Deco Shop Peebles

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 31: Kelso

I have visited Kelso, in the Scottish Borders region, before but hadn’t explored widely so hadn’t seen any deco. Due to parking in a different place from my earlier visits the Tait Hall was one of the first buildings I noticed this time. Designed by William Barclay in 1933 it has typical Deco features, strong verticals and horizontals, banding and it looks like original fenestration! The cut-outs on the upper parts of the side extensions are also good.

Tait Hall, Kelso, close view

Tait Hall, Kelso, from left.

Once home I found a much better picture than any of mine on the net. (No van in the foreground for a start.)

TAit Hall Kelso

Not far from the Tait Hall is the Contented Vine Restaurant, once the Roxy Cinema. The railings were getting a paint job at the time.

Former Roxy Cinema, Kelso

Nice pedimenting and pastel outlining. Pity about the replacement windows on this one.

More photos of Kelso are on my flickr.

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 30: Musselburgh

Musselburgh has at least three Art Deco buildings.

This is the David Macbeth Moir pub on Bridge Street, a Wetherspoon’s. (David Macbeth Moir is a historical local worthy.)

The David Macbeth Moir, Musselburgh,, Left view

The building was formerly the Hayweights cinema. Its detailing and lettering is now after Charles Rennie Mackintosh – Mockintosh, then.

The David Macbeth Moir, Musselburgh 2

Further up Bridge Street is The Royal Bank of Scotland building. That window covered with wooden board is a bit worrying!

Royal Bank of Scotland Building, Musselburgh

On High Street, almost opposite the War Memorial, can be found Poundland. The High Street was busy – difficult to get a photo without traffic.

Poundland, Musselburgh, from High Street

Poundland, Musselburgh from Bridge Street

More of my Musselburgh photos are on my flickr.

York Art Deco 1.

We took a day trip into York when we were down south. The city was littered with Art Deco.

This cinema was on the road in from the Park and Ride. We walked back out so that I could take the photographs. (It’s not that far outside the old walls, just beyond Micklegate Bar actually, and we passed a second hand bookshop on the way which consumed some time.)

It used to be the Odeon but seems to be named the Reel cinema now.

Former Odeon Cinema, The  Mount, York

The new camera has a wide angle lens and seems to give tall or long buildings a tilted or curved look.

Former Odeon Cinema, York, Frontage

This is from the left hand side, lovely sweeping curve here. The windows, here, above the door and on the right hand side have been replaced by modern ones but reasonably in keeping with what the originals must have looked like.

Former Odeon Cinema, York from left

It’s similar in style but not detail to the Odeon in Chester.

There’s something about the brick, though. It could be so much more. Wouldn’t this building look really fantastic rendered in concrete and painted white with pastel highlights?

Looking for Jake by China Miéville

Pan, 2006, 307p.

Looking For Jake cover

This is a collection of Miéville’€™s shorter fiction culled from various previous publications, with some original to this book.

Looking for Jake. After an unspecified disaster has depopulated London an unnamed narrator goes looking for his missing friend Jake. The very Art Deco Gaumont State cinema in Kilburn is given several mentions and an image of it appears on the book’s cover. See also the picture at the end of this post.

In Foundation a First Gulf War veteran haunted by his experiences there is known as a house whisperer because he talks to buildings. Their foundations talk back.

The Ball Room, a story written along with Emma Bircham and Max Schaefer, has the eponymous play area of a furniture warehouse not entirely dissimilar from IKEA cause its clientele to experience strange and compulsive goings on.

Reports of Certain Events in London is a typographical riot of fonts, scripts, reports, “handwritten”€ letters, interpolations and transcribed pamphlets and employs an unusual framing device. Narrator “€œChina Miéville” inadvertently opens a package delivered to his address but intended for a Charles Melville and finds himself fascinated by the contents – the proceedings of a group devoted to tracking the shifting location of, and combats between, London’€™s feral houses.

Familiar has a witch making a familiar out of a mixture of his own body fluids. It disgusts him and he gets rid of it but it comes back to haunt him. Ho-hum.

Entry Taken From a Medical Encyclopædia is errr…. an entry from a medical encyclopædia. Complete with footnotes and references. The infection described is caused by pronouncing a word in a certain way, which thus propagates itself in the victim’s brain.

In Details a young boy takes food every week from his mother to an old woman who keeps herself close, in the dark, barely opening her door before snatching the food, closing it again and getting him to read to her. She once saw something nasty, not in the woodshed, but in the details of a brick wall. She has been hiding from the patterns out to get her ever since.

Go Between sees a man receive from a mysterious organisation messages concealed inside his purchases. He fails to deliver the final one and wonders if he did the right thing.

An old man buys himself a seventieth birthday present, an old window with stained glass. He discovers he can see Different Skies through it, but there are potential horrors on the other side.

An End to Hunger has a genius computer programmer infuriated by the eponymous charity’€™s campaign. He works to expose its sponsors’ hypocrisies. They don’€™t like it.

In ‘€˜Tis the Season Christmas and its accompanying paraphernalia have been privatized. Yuleco owns the rights and so ChristmasTM, SantaTM, MistletoeTM, RudolphTM etc are all under licence – even tinsel is illegal without one, never mind a tree. An unnamed father has won a prize to Yuleco’s official party. On the way there he and his daughter get caught up in the anti-privatisation protests. Slight, in a fun way. I just hope it doesn’€™t give anybody in power any ideas.

Jack in Miéville€’s city of New Crobuzon, familiar from Perdido Street Station and The Scar, is a Remade. Altered as a punishment – feathered wings for arms or oily gears for innards and skin changed, or otherwise bizarrely surgically changed – Remades are looked down upon by the “normal”€ citizens. Jack Half-A-Prayer fights the system, standing up for the underprivileged. The city can tolerate so much as a release valve – but Jack goes too far.

On The Way To The Front is a graphic short story illustrated by Liam Sharp which would take longer to describe than it did to read. The reproduction is in black ink and might have benefited from colour (which would obviously have been too expensive.)

The Tain is much the longest story in the collection, a novella set in the aftermath of Earth’s invasion by the creatures who live behind mirrors, the Tain of the title. A Londoner is strangely immune to their attentions and sets out to parley with their leader. One of the Tain is also a viewpoint character. Not your usual alien encounter story.

While not every story hits the mark, as a whole the collection illustrates Miéville’€™s range and writing ability. It also highlights his fascination with London and his recurring theme of otherness, the not-quite-identical.

And here is the majestic (in that monolithic, Stalinist kind of way) Gaumont State Cinema.

Gaumont State Cinema

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