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Art Deco in Rochdale (iii) Various Buildings

Lloyd’s Bank in full. Part of the building also appeared in my post entitled Art Deco in Rochdale (ii):-

Lloyds Bank Building, Rochdale

This one has aspects of Deco styling. At the time I visited it seemed to house an information centre about Rochdale:-

Deco Style Frontage, Rochdale

From side:-

Deco Style in Rochdale

This one now houses a Vet’s:-

Art Deco Building, Rochdale


Wynsor's Rochdale

Poundworld as was. (It won’t be a Poundworld now.)

Former Poundworld, Rochdale

Watan Cash and Carry. (Photo taken hastily from passenger window of the car I was being driven in.)

Watan Cash and Carry, Rochdale

A tin in the Co-operative Museum, showing the Co-operative’s Art Deco former Tea Warehouse in Salford, Manchester:-

Tin Featuring Art Deco Building

Rochdale Town Hall Interior

I meant to photograph the Minton foor tiles in Rochdale Town Hall’s foyer but there were people making it difficult to get the whole pattern in, both when we entered and on the way out so I didn’t. They are beautifully set into large squares whose perimeters contain various royal mottos such as “Dieu et Mon Droit” (used by the UK monarch outwith Scotland) and “Nemo Me Impune Lacessit” the ancient one of the Scottish kings usually uttered in Scots as “Wha daur meddle wi’ me?” or as I translated into Glaswegian to our friends from Rochdale who’d taken us there, “Don’t mess wi’ me, pal.”

A small portion of the tiled floor can be seen in my photo of the staircase in my Rochdale Town Hall, Stained Glass post. Other images can be found here.

The ground floor vaulted ceiling is a bit Islamesque:-

Rochdale Town Hall Interior 1

One of the function rooms has a magnificent hammer beam ceiling:-

Rochdale Town Hall interior

Along with decoration:-

Ceiling in Rochdale Town Hall

And a similarly magnificent fireplace:-

Rochdale Town Hall fireplace

Wood panelling on the walls:-

Interior, Rochdale Town Hall

Wall decoration:-

Wall Decoration Rochdale Town Hall

I liked these internal doors:-

Internal Doors, Rochdale Town Hall

And the old signage:-

Old Signage Rochdale Town Hall

There’s even decoration in the corridor to the toilets:-

Rochdale Town Hall, Corridor to Toilets

Art Deco in Rochdale (ii) Marks and Spencer

The Marks and Spencer in Rochdale is a typical 1930s building:-

Marks and Spencer, Rochdale


Roofline Marks and Spencer, Rochdale

Window detail:-

Window Detail, Marks and Spencer, Rochdale

Reverse view from first. Note Lloyd’s Bank to the left:-

Marks and Spencer, Rochdale, Reverse View

Rochdale Town Hall, Stained Glass

One of the striking features of Rochdale Town Hall’s interior is the stained glass windows many of which feature portraits of the Kings and Queens of England.

The windows flanking the entrance though have stained glass representations of the coats of arms of European countries, here Greece, France, Belgium, Turkey, Russia and Portugal:-

Rochdale Town Hall, Stained Glass Windows 1

The other such window betrays the building’s age. Coats of arms for Sweden & Norway, Prussia, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark and Austria. Note Sweden & Norway, as was (they separated in 1905) and Prussia which, subsumed the rest of Germany in 1871.

Stained Glass Window, Rochdale Town Hall

Grand staircase:-

Rochdale Town Hall Staircase

This is a closer view showing the stained glass window on the half-landing to greater effect.

Rochdale Town Hall, Stained Glass

Rochdale Town Hall

A glimpse of Rochdale’s imposing Town Hall could be seen in yesterday’s post.

Here is the building’s frontage:-

Rochdale Town Hall from War Memorial

Side view from Town Square (left hand side in previous photo):-

Rochdale Town Hall

View (from right hand side in first photo):-

Rochdale Town Hall

Facade and entrance canopy:-

Rochdale Town Hall Facade

Detail. Note gilded lions above the entrance canopy:-

Rochdale Town Hall Detail

The inside of the building is as splendid – more of which later – but I also photographed a model of the building which was as I recall in Rochdale Museum:-

Front view:-

Model of Rochdale Town Hall

Rear of building:-

Rochdale Town Hall Model


Until recently the River Roch through Rochdale town centre had been covered over for decades – almost a century. It’s been opened up now and the river looks well. A town always seems better for a river running through it.

Bridge in Rochdale town centre, Art Deco former Regal Cinema, now The Regal Moon, in background:-

Bridge over River Roch, Rochdale

Bridge in Rochdale town centre from opposite side, Town Hall in background:-

Town Bridge + Hall, Rochdale

Rochdale Town Hall and Square:-

Rochdale Town Hall and Square stitch

One side of Rochdale Town Square (to the right in previous picture):-

Rochdale Town Square

Rochdale’s most famous daughter is perhaps, Gracie Fields. There is a statue of her, complete with old style microphone, in the town square:-

Statue of Gracie Fields, Rochdale Town Square

Different angle. Town Hall in background:-

Reverse Angle Gracie Fields Statue,

The Rochdale trams are colourful; well, bright:-

Rochdale Tram

Art Deco in Rochdale (i) The Regal Cinema

Rochdale in Lancashire, a few miles north of Manchester, isn’t quite the grim post-industrial town I had half-expected. Its town centre is in fact fairly well appointed and its Town Hall a marvel I shall come to later.

But what I was most looking forward to seeing (having glimpsed it in the background to a photograph of a family member) was the former Regal Cinema – an imposing Art Deco building now housing a Wetherspoons called The Regal Moon. Note the rounded wall, the horizontal rule of three in the central windows and the vertical one in the flanking blocks:-

The Regal Moon, Rochdale

Frontage. There’s even rule of three in the white columns surrounding the central windows and in the detailing above the lower central windows plus a beautiful roundedness to the four white pillars and their peaks:-

Frontage, The Regal Moon, Rochdale

Opposite view. Note the lack of symmetry in the right-angled corner as compared to the curved one on the far side. The stepped upper levels descending towards the rear mirror the other side though:-

The Regal Moon, Rochdale, Opposite View

Some pictures of the cinema in its days as a picture house are here.

Cyril Smith MP

I learned earlier today that Cyril Smith has died.

He was one of those few people who genuinely deserve the description larger than life. I do not mean that in any pejorative sense even though he was a large man.

He was one of the most distinctive politicians of the 1970s and 80s. What marked him out was that he seemed to be a human being. Though a spokeman for his party he also spoke for himself, apparently not toeing the party line. As Liberal MP for Rochdale he brought a fresh forthright perspective to political debate and was one of the main driving forces behind the Liberal revival. What he would have made of his party’s present situation I don’t know but I suspect he would have been as outspoken. I’m sure his personality caused some people to cast their vote who might not have otherwise.

A few months ago when another blog referred to Abdelbasset Al Megrahi‘s lingering longer than it had been suggested he might and linked to a website which lists famous people who are getting on a bit (I put that politely) I had been surprised to learn that Smith was still alive. He seemed to have been absent from the news for so long and I had thought he had left us long ago.

Now he finally has and I find I am saddened by it.*

Cyril Smith: 28/6/1928- 3/9/2010. So it goes.

*Edited to add:- perusing other blogs and following up what they said it has come to my attention that like a lot of prominent people Sir Cyril not only had feet but also, it seems, other extremities of clay.

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