Archives » Trips

Neidpath Castle

The castle is just west of Peebles above the banks of the River Tweed. It looks very imposing from the far (south) bank.

This was taken from the north bank:-

An attempt at an arty shot through the branches:-

Aberdeen’s Art Deco Heritage 5: Union Street

While we were in Aberdeen we thought we’d have a look at the shops.

The main street, Union Street, had a couple of Art Deco frontages. I just photographed the upper portions as I couldn’t get back far enough to avoid pedestrians/traffic getting in the way and the lower bits were modernised glass anyway.

I most say deco looks a bit weird in granite.

Dyce War Memorial

On our trip up north we stayed overnight in Dyce.

The War Memorial is tucked away up a side street and acts as a roundabout. It’s dignified; in the cenotaph style.

Word War 1 names are on the sides. The reverse commemorates World War 2 and mentions one Corpl Isabella Ross.

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 35: Peterculter

After Banchory we headed for Aberdeen and passed through Peterculter.

I spotted this former cinema, now a Chinese Restaurant:-

The ridging in the stonework is good as is the curved stepping.

Across the road and up a bit there was the building below, which may once have been a bank but is now a funeral director’s. Strong horizontals and verticals and a hint of a canopy:-

Then there was Café Bombay:-

Not a bad haul of Deco for what is effectively a village.

Stafford (i)

On the way back to Scotland we stopped off at Stafford for a break.

The place is festooned with Art Deco.

This is the Edinburgh Woollen Mill:-

And here’s a detail:-

This is the upper frontage of the Nat West Building:-

This is another shop’s frontage:-

Here’s Marks and Spencer’s (a stitch of two photos):-

Art Deco, or at least 1930s, style shop upper window. The glazing looks original to me. Possibly Critall. Good brickwork too.

A pub/restaurant called Casa. Perhaps modern but has deco style

Great Book Cover

We were in Buckingham on a Saturday morning. There was a market. Some of it was vegetables and fruit etc but further on towards the old jail there were several stalls selling antiques/junk etc. A couple of them were bookstalls. The good lady bought a watering can with a hole in it – to use as a planter – and four books. She also persuaded me to buy The Splendid Book for Boys, typical 1950s boys book fare, whose cover I show below along with the two (facing) Contents pages which I had to scan separately as together they were too big to fit the scanner.

Nice space rocket!

When I get round to reading the book I’ll also post the interior ilustrations of the SF story.


After we left Bicester we made our way to the hotel we’d booked in Buckingham.

The town has a swan for its symbol. In golden form it appears as a finial (it looks too big and heavy to be a weathervane) on the roof of the Town Hall.

The town centre is pleasant with a mediæval castle-type building which was also once the town jail.

The Sainsbury’s Local (On the road in) has a look of Deco about it. There are good horizontals in the brickwork and stepping on the roofline.

The shop has been blended in well with the flat-roofed thirties house to its left.

There is a lovely Art Deco frieze on the wall of The Buckingham School, a Sports College. Note the swan logo. I assume the BCC stands for Buckingham County Council.

Bicester, Oxfordshire

On the way from Woodstock to our hotel we were passing by Bicester, so decided to stop for a look.

It’s a pretty standard English market town sort of place but there was a modern shopping centre that had deco aspects.

And further round a bit there was this interesting looking old church.

Woodstock War Memorial

After Harwich/Dovercourt we headed to Blenheim Palace which is close to Oxford, specifically by the village of Woodstock. The journey took much longer than Google Maps had suggested it would so we didn’t really have enough time there. Though we saw most of the rooms on show the Palace is huge and the grounds enormous; so much so we’ll have to go back to take it all in. (The entry gives you the option of free return within a year. Maybe in spring.)

We wandered round Woodstock itself – the buildings are made from Cotswold stone, very warm in appearance.

The War memorial is situated in the churchyard and has a simple elegant cross design on a plinth inscribed, “To the Memory of the Fallen 1914-18 1939-45 In Sure and Certain Hope.”

Dovercourt (Harwich)

We spent the first night back in Britain in Harwich and in the morning had a stroll into Dovercourt which is cheek by jowl with Harwich but whereas Harwich is on the southern bank of the River Stour opposite Felixstowe, Dovercourt lies to Harwich’s south and lines up NNE to SSW (pointing ESE) where Harwich is more E to W (pointing N.)

These 1930s houses hinted at Art Deco.

We walked on towards the town centre past this building which looked as if it might have once been a garage but I have since discovered was the Regent Cinema. Strong horizontals, delicate upper window.

At the bottom of a slight hill there was a football ground, the home of Harwich and Parkeston FC. The sign says Ridgeon’s Football League but the Wiki article says they’re in the Essex and Suffolk Border League and also illustrates that the club has seen better times than at present. The ground is the Royal Oak Ground. Good stepped Art Deco styling to the entrance here.

There’s a photo of the club’s stand here.

In the town itself was what was in its prime surely a Woolworths.

This was up a side street. Minor deco but definitely has it in the roofline. I’d like to have seen the original windows.

Almost next door was a defunct? bingo hall (also once a cinema?) It was morning so I couldn’t tell if the restaurant on the ground floor is still a going concern.

Up another side street I found an old Co-op. This has all the hallmarks of deco but again has seen better days. There’s something drastic has occurred to the building. The facade is distinctly bent – focused on the rightward central pillar.

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