Author Topic: New Towns  (Read 6100 times)

Re: New Towns
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2020, 11:24:11 PM »
Is Crawley a new town? It's...unpleasant.
i mean arguably no, because it has a medieval church and a centre around it, but then Hemel Hempstead is a canonical new town and that has a really significant parish church in the old town. still I think Hemel's more planned next to the old town rather than expanded out. fuckin magic roundabouts. mayhem

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2020, 11:40:37 PM »
Is Crawley a new town? It's...unpleasant.

I’ve just been going by the Wikipedia lists:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_towns_in_the_United_Kingdom

Crawley doesn’t seem to be as well regarded as Stevenage or Hemel Hempstead but I’d still like to do a day trip to check it out. 

Re: New Towns
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2020, 11:47:13 PM »
well you can hardly call Northampton a "new town". but fuck that place. must be almost the shittiest county town.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2020, 11:49:59 PM »
I love that.  I’d imagine Forton Services is seen as the best example
I was always jealous of my dad that he got to go up the restaurant back in the 60s. When I was very young, it was always a case of "next time" or "we need to get home", then it got closed down.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2020, 12:12:47 AM »
Think that Isaac Newtown bloke was a proper genius.

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2020, 01:41:36 AM »
MK is very weird in terms of it's sheer existence but I like that big pointy building they've got. The aforementioned modernist church thing in Stevenage is cool too.

Kind of want to fly out to see Brasilia out of pure curiosity. There's something about the idea of a Milton Keynes the size of Berlin that just appeals to me for some reason.

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2020, 02:17:20 AM »
I’ve just been going by the Wikipedia lists:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_towns_in_the_United_Kingdom

Crawley doesn’t seem to be as well regarded as Stevenage or Hemel Hempstead but I’d still like to do a day trip to check it out.

I grew up a 20 minute drive from Crawley and really cannot think of a single good thing about it anymore, there used to be a decent second hand book shop and a 3 screen cinema but the former's now an Oxfam and the latter a Bar Med, and the town's a bleak old place nowadays. The last time I visited it was with my sister's ex-boyfriend, Racist Graham, who grew up on the outskirts of the place and to me epitomises just how shit the area is these days.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2020, 02:20:43 AM »
dear jim could you fix it for me to have raiden and sub-zero fighting on the platform of milton keynes central

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2020, 03:09:31 AM »
I’d like to add to the praise for this excellent artwork.

Thanks CC. Stevenage is a favourite as is the much maligned Cumbernauld  (it looked so tidy in Gregory's Girl).

I did a suitably grey piece a few years ago of Cumbernauld city centre.

Cumbernauld (It's a New Town)[1]



Interestingly this is the planner's view of that same area. Far more bustling and full of life.



This is an optimistic film on Stevenage from 1971 not on that BFI list. Well worth a watch for the architecture, youth club sequence near the end (groovy) and of course the classic clock tower.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvDqYHhdKaA&t=338s

These are interesting too. Location Then and Now shorts on:

Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QYdD_qpzCc

Gregory's Girl
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9b3UClZC0o

That New Town Utopia doc is great. Very Paul Kelly/Norman Cohen.

I have a soft spot for Hemel Hempstead but last visited it about 15 years ago.  Milton Keynes is indeed not worth bothering with.

Rectangular clocks must have been in fashion in the 60's Crawley had one too.



 1. Should have saved that title for Basildon, obviously

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2020, 03:13:34 AM »
I'm in Stevenage and Letchworth a lot for work; both are quite nice but I suspect I would be bored living in either. Been to WGC a few times and it seemed ok but again not much to do.

Can confirm MK is a soulless wasteland of despair.

Hemel ain't all that. Hatfield is an absolute shithole.


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Re: New Towns
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2020, 03:14:05 AM »
I love that.  I’d imagine Forton Services is seen as the best example but Newcastle had a beautiful one back in the 70’s:



Newcastle's very own Chemosphere! What was it's purpose, restaurant?

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2020, 10:26:38 AM »
Do you do prints of those pictures, Neomod?

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2020, 10:58:50 AM »
well you can hardly call Northampton a "new town". but fuck that place. must be almost the shittiest county town.

Bedford?

Re: New Towns
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2020, 11:16:25 AM »

Re: New Towns
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2020, 11:27:45 AM »
Chester is a shit hole too.

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2020, 11:32:10 AM »
I went to a football match in Stevenage just over a year ago, so obviously I went a bit early and had a mooch round. Some nice murals on the shops around that town square.




There's a nice little museum too - I love a good town museum.





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Re: New Towns
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2020, 11:40:17 AM »
Do you do prints of those pictures, Neomod?

I was wondering that myself...

Re: New Towns
« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2020, 03:22:30 PM »
Living in Herts, I'd said the hierarchy of our New Towns is:

Stevenage - okay
Harlow - bit bleak, especially as they seem to have abandoned the main shopping area and people just use the shops at one end of it (unless they're poor, or need their phone fixed). It's also where the 'human warehouse' is in the former office block next to the bus station
Hatfield - bleak as fuck, and was just as bleak back in the early nineties when I went then there do some course while unemployed. Everyone goes down the Galleria instead.

One other thing Stevenage has going for it is the cycle network, that bizarrely no one in Stevenage uses because they made driving around Stevenage to easy when they planned it. I've been through and to Stevenage a fair few times in my life and I've NEVER seen anyone using the cycleways.

https://roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/stevenage/

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2020, 03:38:54 PM »
Do you do prints of those pictures, Neomod?

I was wondering that myself...

I'm in the process of creating a new online gallery/shop so they should be available later in the year. Hopefully at record and art fairs too.



Harlow Town Hall looks very Gerry Anderson. I love that viewing gallery at the top. No doubt probably closed a year after it was built due to 'problems'.

Oh. It seems it's been demolished.

I'm sure it's the monochromatic crispness of black and white film that actually accentuates it's modernism. Harlow's clock (still there apparently)


Re: New Towns
« Reply #49 on: May 31, 2020, 05:55:52 PM »

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #50 on: May 31, 2020, 06:02:35 PM »
Quote
I'm sure it's the monochromatic crispness of black and white film that actually accentuates it's modernism

Yes, this is the treatment chosen for most brutalist art, usually high contrast. Less appealing shown in plain old dilapidated condition on a rainy day stinking of fust and urine, as it people's common experience.

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #51 on: May 31, 2020, 06:03:21 PM »
Resident of Crawley: A crawnklecrank

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #52 on: May 31, 2020, 07:28:29 PM »
Living in Herts, I'd said the hierarchy of our New Towns is:

Stevenage - okay
Harlow - bit bleak, especially as they seem to have abandoned the main shopping area and people just use the shops at one end of it (unless they're poor, or need their phone fixed). It's also where the 'human warehouse' is in the former office block next to the bus station
Hatfield - bleak as fuck, and was just as bleak back in the early nineties when I went then there do some course while unemployed. Everyone goes down the Galleria instead.

One other thing Stevenage has going for it is the cycle network, that bizarrely no one in Stevenage uses because they made driving around Stevenage to easy when they planned it. I've been through and to Stevenage a fair few times in my life and I've NEVER seen anyone using the cycleways.

https://roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/stevenage/

Only been to Hatfield once but it did appear somewhat of a dump. Welwyn Garden City seemed nice but I was only passing through (isn't the train station in a shopping centre? Or am I remembering it wrong?)

Re: New Towns
« Reply #53 on: May 31, 2020, 08:01:52 PM »
I used to live in Peterborough which apparently is a new town which is news to me. It's nothing like MK though as it's old town nucleus is large enough that it doesn't feel like a new town until you reach the shitty 60s estates like Orton Goldhay and dull uninspiring ones like Dogsthorpe and Paston. Lovely cathedral though.

Crawley is fucking depressing and I'm often there for work unfortunately. The name just makes you think of grey industrial estates and flat roofed housing which is rather an unhappy coincidence.

Corby felt to me like a Glasgow overspill new town transported to Northamptonshire. I know a large number of people who live there have Scottish roots due to the steel plant opening but they really gave it a look and feel of an English Cumbernauld type place.




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Re: New Towns
« Reply #54 on: May 31, 2020, 08:03:42 PM »
Quote
Dogsthorpe

Fucking hell

Re: New Towns
« Reply #55 on: May 31, 2020, 09:22:46 PM »
welwyn garden city anyone? drove through it once but didn't stop.

Peterborough is such an arsehole of a place but I don't think that was particularly caused by the new town designation. fuckin hell it is so bad. like chester it has its fair share of interesting architecture but fuck damn

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #56 on: May 31, 2020, 10:39:00 PM »
also once I got lost somewhere outside it walking back from the open university campus at Walton Hall and when I finally got to MKC and on the train I felt like Snake Plissken.

The first time I visited Milton Keynes it was on an organised tour, around the same time 'Milton Keynes And Me' came out.  At first sight it’s such an imposing place and then as you move around it you get a sense of the plan and the separation and you realise you need to think in layers to ‘get it’.  It was such a beautiful day and the city seemed to really work; the little centres in each housing block for your doctor and small shops then cycle over to the city centre for your work and your big library and council offices.  Seamless. 

We were lucky enough to see inside some of the HomeWorld81 houses, this clip gives you an idea of them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IxLrSXg4LU

A couple of years later I had to go there for work and I stayed overnight, keen to see the city again.  It was such a disappointment going back, I realised how much of a dormitory city it is (that phrase sounds wrong but it’s true, waves and waves of people getting off the train and then just driving home).  It felt like the city shut down at 6.  I went for a walk to have another look at the Frink horse and get some food and it just felt wrong.  Not scary or threatening, just not a place for people once the shopping centre closes. 

It feels like a waste, surely all those wide urban safe spaces are perfect for outdoor eating, free gigs, poetry, whatever you want.   Sadly not, at least it wasn’t when I was there, I’ll stand corrected if things have changed. 

A very upsetting place, even with treasure like this around: 



Anyway wish me luck I’ve got a work zoom pub quiz tomorrow with a bonus round on Newport Pagnell.  Help. 

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #57 on: May 31, 2020, 11:13:45 PM »
I've said it before ,and i'll say it again:

SKELMERSDALE

(Lovely art btw, Neomod)

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #58 on: May 31, 2020, 11:17:49 PM »
Yes, this is the treatment chosen for most brutalist art, usually high contrast. Less appealing shown in plain old dilapidated condition on a rainy day stinking of fust and urine, as it people's common experience.

One of the most ‘FFS’ things in Bristol is around the Cumberland Basin.  Originally it was designed by Sylvia Crowe as a leisure space for families – relaxing, playing by the water, toilets, cafe, play park, fountain, picnic spaces you get the idea:



It fell away, the cafe and toilets were shut down and it became a bit unloved but it was still a very beautiful place with the views out to the river and the evening sun turning the concrete pillars a soft gold, sometimes gently dappled with the reflection of the waves.

Then a few years ago some toerag got away with painting all the pillars:



The nursery shades are bad enough but they have a dull chalky quality up close.  Naturally, being Bristol, people think it’s ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL and I don’t live there any more so I don’t have to put up with it but still, FFS. 

Re: New Towns
« Reply #59 on: May 31, 2020, 11:55:37 PM »
oh Skem. the library there is actually pretty civilised and to be perfectly honest my experience roaming about it was pretty benign. it was basically built on potato fields though so what can you say really

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