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Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 11c. Dumbarton Yet Again

Familiarity must breed not looking. How I missed this building in this sequence up to now I don’t know. Anyway I caught it early in May when I was over for the last game in the season.

It’s the ex-Savings Bank of Glasgow building in Dumbarton, now a TSB.

Dumbarton TSB

The former Woolworths has been given a makeover and is now a Wotherspoons, The Captain James Lang. The frontage has cleaned up nicely. Compare this to the photo I took in 2009.

Dumbarton Former Woolworths

On the wall inside is a photograph of Dumbarton Woolies in its heyday.

Dumbarton Old Woolworths

As a homage to the building’s past this array of old Pic’n’Mix bags and sweets is also on display.

Pic n Mix, Dumbarton

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.

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.


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.


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

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