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Fort William Art Deco

The town is cut off from Loch Linnhe by a dual carriageway. We walked along it the first evening and saw the Imperial Hotel. Lovely curved area with balcony above. Nice stepping on the roof line.

There are other decoish buildings on the High Street.

Could this once have been a Woolworths?:-

The next one looks flat-roofed. Windows have been altered:-

Mountain Warehouse. Minor Deco at best:-

Maryport, Cumbria

Maryport is a lovely name for a town and it’s where the River Ellen debouches into the Irish Sea.

There’s always something aesthetically pleasing about a place where waters meet. The river in Maryport is nice enough as it curves under a bridge and into the sea but it isn’t exceptional. It helped too that the tide was in and there was as a result no unsightly muddy banks when I saw it.

The town itself has seen better times I would say and looked pretty down at heel even if the Christmas Lights were still suspended over Senhouse Street.

It did have some Art Deco, though. I spotted this on Crosby Street on the way back up from the river. The metal surrounds of the glass on the upper parts of the shop windows here are particularly striking. The higher up windows have been “poked out” though.

Art Deco shop frontage in Maryport, Cumbria

On Senshouse Street itself is what used to be a Woolworths and is now an Original Factory Shop. Nice roofline but again poked out eyes for the upper windows.

Former Woolworths, Maryport Cumbria

Morpeth: Art Deco

We stopped off at Morpeth in Northumberland on our way down south and found a plethora of Art Deco buildings.

The most striking was Sanderson House on Bridge Street. The semi-circular canopy looks very recent. The entrance leads through an arcade to shops out the back. There’s a good attempt here to retain the style of the windows.

Sanderson House, Morpeth

Rutherford & Co is also on Bridge Street. Could it once have been a Burton’s?

Art Deco Building, Bridge Street,  Morpeth, Northumberland.

My immediate thought on seeing the Iceland shop was “Woolworths.” Checking Google Maps when I got home I found it was indeed before that company’s demise.

More Art Deco in Morpeth

The building occupied by Superdrug also has Deco features. The grey area round the windows is interesting, as is the detailing high up. The middle windows retain an old style quality.

Yet More Morpeth Art Deco

Santander bank premises. The windows here have been mucked about with but the embellishments above them are good and I like the roundels in the stonework.

Morpeth Art Deco Styling

This last one – HSBC – is on the cusp. It’s got verticals and horizontals and good detailing around the door but the finials on the pillars aren’t really deco.

Morpeth. Art Deco?

I make that six Art Deco facades – all on the one street! Morpeth obviously had a lot going for it in the 1930s. It’s still reasonably prosperous looking.

Kirkcaldy’€™s Art Deco Heritage 16. Woolworths Logo

Woolworths logo in tile

This is on the extreme right hand side doorway of the old Woolworths store in Kirkcaldy High Street if you look at the store straight on. The door isn’t used now. It’s in a kind of alcove so the logo is usually obscured a bit by dirt and leaves etc.

That store closed in the late 1970s I think. Woolies opened up a new shop in the Mercat in Kirkcaldy when the Tesco’s there moved out to take over William Low’s. That in turn is now a Home Bargains and Peacock’s. They split the floor space.

This is how the old Woolies in the High Street looks now. It’s not an Art Deco building – it has more the look of the 1960s and houses an indoor market.

Woolworths old store KIrkcaldy

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 24 (ii): Bo’ness Again

Just further along South Street from the Woolworths I mentioned in my previous Bo’ness post we came on this stunning building. An Art Deco Cube.

Art Deco Former Bakery, Bo'ness

It was designed by Matthew Steele. It has been a bakery but is now disused I think. Great detailing on the columns and the glazing. The flagpoles are good too. This is the view from the North Street side.

Art Deco Former Bakery 2

Moving back along North Street I spotted the rear of what looked like a deco cinema. The roundedness, flat roof and whiteness all suggest it.

Rear Of Hippodrome Cinema Bo'ness

Round the corner again into Hope Street and this is the side view.

Side of Hippodrome Cinema, Bo'ness

That cupola made me unsure. It’s not a deco feature.

But this is the front of the Hippodrome.

Hippodrome Cinema, Bo'ness

The doors have been updated; but well. The glazing is right. The lettering and neon on the Hippodrome name sign are perfect. The Scottish cinemas website says it has been recently refurbished. It is a working cinema. Good on the owners.

It was designed by the same Matthew Steele as above (a native of Bo’ness) but built in 1912 – too early to be true deco – but it certainly prefigures the style.

This is how it looked in the past (picture from the Scottish cinemas website.)

Hippodrome cinema, Bo'ness, vintage photo

The left hand side has undergone some change since then!

Back to the car and I spotted this past the roundabout.

Former Star Cinema, Bo'ness, Side View

Another cinema, the Star. Formerly a church and converted into a cinema, when presumably the deco facade was added. Now a storehouse.

Former Star Cinema Bo'ness

Bo’ness. The (Art Deco) centre of Scotland!

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 24 (i): Bo’ness

I’ve been to Bo’ness (properly Borrowstouness) several times before but it was when the boys were young and we were visiting the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway. I’d never actually been into the town centre before but we were over that way a few weeks ago and took a gander.

It’s chock full of Art Deco buildings! (Well, as chock full as a Scottish town can be.) Today’s post is the minor stuff.

I parked the car in the first car park I came to and this was opposite:-

Art Deco Building Bo'ness

Amazingly the glazing still looks okay and the green banding in the stonework is a nice touch. Here’s the detailing above the black doorway:-

Detail of Art Deco Building in Bo'ness

The far end compared to the first view has a corner but here the windows have been mucked about with. More of the same detailing above both doorways in this shot.

Art Deco Building, Bo'ness

The shop on the ground floor is Corvi’s (Seaview Cafe.) The day we went it had a notice saying it was shut for a holiday. Several weeks’ worth of holiday!

I found this house higher up the town near the Town Hall, which is an imposing building.

1930s House, Bo'ness, from left.

This is two houses at least, possibly semis. There’s a door at each end anyway. There may be other doors to the rear, here. There is strong banding in the stonework between the “front” windows. (The true front of the building may well be the other side to this view as that will have great views over the River Forth which you can just glimpse to the left of the house.)

From the next view you can see the windows have been “modernised.” The corner ones may have been rounded once. Could this have been flat-roofed originally?

1930s House, Bo'ness from right.

This next is a building on the east side of town. Almost deco.

A Corner Block in Bo'ness

Evem more deco from Bo’ness is to come but in passing I noticed a former Woolworths shop whose rear still bore the Woolies sign.

Former Woolworths, Bo'ness

The front says it’s now a Back To Basics Discount Store.

Ross-on-Wye

We finally got to see the Wye when we reached Ross – and a sluggish, sludgy thing it looked too. (Probably all that June rain.)

I didn’t find the War Memorial (but I did buy a book!)

Almost the first shop I noticed was this:-

Ross-on-Wye Former Woolworths

It looks very like a former Woolworths to me but is now a Spar.

There was a row of very 30s looking shops leading down from the main road junction. (Unfortunately a random woman was crossing the street when I took the photo.)

Art Deco Style Shops in Ross-on-Wye

The local branch of Edinburgh Woollen Mill was just to the right of these, bang on the junction. Nice railings below the windows.

Art Deco Shop, Ross-on-Wye

The building above was somewhat incongruously over the road from some conspicuous mediævality.

Ross-on-Wye

Fife’€™s Art Deco Heritage 10 (i): Leven

This is in Commercial Road, Leven. It’s an estate agent’s now.

An Estate Agents in Leven, Fife

Poundland. I can remember when this was a Woolworths.

Former Woolworths, Leven, Fife

This one is on the promenade. It may have been a toilet block. I don’t know what it’s used for now. You can just see New Bayview, East Fife’s ground, in the background over the River Leven. You wouldn’t have been able to see it when Methil Power Station stood in between.

Toliet? Building, Promenade, Leven

More Braintree

In Braintree we parked as close to our old house as possible and strolled up to the town.

The route took us past the War Memorial.

War Memorial, Braintree, Essex

Just over the road is this deco Masonic Centre.

Braintree Masonic Centre

And next door to that is an Art Deco house.

Deco House, Braintree

From the above angle you cannot see the curved balcony but looking in by the gate you do.

Deco House, Braintree, Balcony

The old Woolies in the town centre was/is deco in style.

Old Woolies, Braintree.

There used to be a Critall window factory in Braintree but that seems to have been demolished and replaced by modern housing.

When we lived there the traffic in the town was horrendous. The queues to get in on a Saturday from the north were enormous. So were the ones in the supermarket; they stretched from the tills all the way to the other ends of the aisles.

The town has long since been bypassed both north/south and east/west and so was relatively tranquil. Mind you we got there about five o’clock.

There is also now a retail park and an outlet centre off the bypass. Considering that, the town centre looked more thriving than you might expect.

Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral

We hadn’t intended visiting Ely but when we discovered it was only twelve miles from Cambridge we thought we might as well.

Its most striking feature is of course the Cathedral (see left.)

Almost the first house we encountered was in a highly traditional style. We had been forewarned by signs in the car park – and the streets up from it – to “Oliver Cromwell’s House.” This surprised me as I’d always thought Cromwell was a farmer from Huntingdon till the Civil Wars dragged him from hearth and home to military fame – not to mention notoriety – regicide and the Lord Protectorship. Anyway the tacky figures outside put us off entering.

Cromwell's House, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

I had expected the town would contain mostly traditional architecture. There was nothing extremely modern but I was pleasantly surprised to find not one, nor two, nor even three, but four buildings showing deco styling.

The first had “Coronation Building” and a crown inscribed on it. I suspect this would have been the 1937 Coronation (George VI) rather than that of 1953.

Coronation Building, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The second now hosts WH Smith’s – I had to stitch two photos as the street wasn’t wide enough to allow me to frame the whole thing in one shot.

Smith's, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The third looked as if it had once been a Woolworths.

Old Woolies? Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The fourth was on another street (Lynn Road?) just off the main one.

Art Deco style building, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The War Memorial was unostentatious, restrained and dignified, set into a niche in the wall that backs onto the cathedral.

War Memorial, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

There was also a street market which looked pretty thriving. Whether it’s there everyday or merely Wednesdays I don’t know.

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