Author Topic: New Towns  (Read 6098 times)

dr beat

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #60 on: June 01, 2020, 12:29:43 AM »
Oh Runcorn.  The Pest to Widnes' Buda.  Famously Runcorn Highfield RL fielded a one-armed player.  My first ever proper football match was at the 'Linnets'.  Apparently they beat Wealdstone 4-2.  I insisted we leave early cos I wanted to go home to watch the first ever episode of Fraggle Rock.




28 I was.

Non Stop Dancer

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #61 on: June 01, 2020, 12:29:49 AM »
I was wondering that myself...
Just want to extend the praise here. Lovely work.

MojoJojo

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #62 on: June 01, 2020, 12:35:11 AM »
...Dogsthorpe...

My junior school was in Dogsthorpe. And I went to the Dogsthorpe Cub/Scout troup.

I grew up in Peterborough, and now live in Cambridge. Obviously, the complete lack of culture in Peterborough stands out. However, getting around on the parkways is amazing, even if they seem to breed Sunday drivers.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #63 on: June 01, 2020, 01:07:20 AM »
when lockdown ends i may have a fieldtrip to Runcorn/Widnes on the cards. you can imagine im fucking champing at the cunting bit

Re: New Towns
« Reply #64 on: June 01, 2020, 09:38:46 AM »
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?)

welwyn garden city anyone? drove through it once but didn't stop.

Clue's in the name - Letchworth and Welwyn aren't New Towns they're Garden Cities, planned and executed in a very different era for different reasons. Consequently they are a lot more pleasant.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #65 on: June 01, 2020, 11:37:24 AM »
According to Wikipedia Welwyn Garden City is also a new town.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #66 on: June 01, 2020, 03:17:31 PM »

I grew up in Peterborough, and now live in Cambridge. Obviously, the complete lack of culture in Peterborough stands out. However, getting around on the parkways is amazing, even if they seem to breed Sunday drivers.

I lived there for three years in a flat opposite Charters on the river. Felt like I was a proper urbane playboy, except I was in Peterborough so I was about as urbane as Benny from Crossroads.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #67 on: June 01, 2020, 03:27:34 PM »
I think the real tragic things about new towns, and similarly abandoned council/flat roofed pubs is that naff as we view them, they still represent a time when urban planning did actually attempt to plan some satisfaction of the public's needs. An idea that 'if we put people here they'll need somewhere for their kids to go, they'll need a precinct to get their essentials, what about a baths for them to use?'.

I grew up in a commuter town where lots of barrat homes were built, but nothing else was, in those days they didn't even bother throwing in a corner shop per hundreds of houses, it's nearly a 15 minute walk to the nearest one at my parents whereas there's nearly 10 near me within that distance.

A lot of the reason they're all shit and crumbling is that once the idea this didn't need to be done got normalised, so did the idea that these places didn't need to be maintained.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #68 on: June 01, 2020, 04:39:20 PM »
Yeah as well these barratt showhomes are only desirable brand new anyway. Eventually they'll all be sublet slums. The new residential areas in places like Cambridge round the station are also bleak as fuck in their corporate shininess. One sainsburys local and thats it amenities-wise.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 08:27:01 PM by idunnosomename »

Re: New Towns
« Reply #69 on: June 01, 2020, 05:01:07 PM »
It definitely was the last gasp of civic optimism or utopianism. I've worked in both Glenrothes and Livingston, east Scotland's two new towns. Both represent attempts to build better places, but both are very flawed. They could be nice places with good locations, countryside nearby, but are built around cars, have railway stations miles from anywhere, far too many roundabouts, and while there are jobs, there's a lack of leisure options and anything individual or characterful. People don't really care about them: creative or ambitious people leave, and everything is run by chains seeking to sap the last penny out of a captive bored hopeless population.

Livingston is notable for having no town centre, but shops people still went to (till March 2020). Nice situation, trees, river, the architecture is crappy but not actively Stalinist. But the railway stations are on the outskirts, and there's a total lack of anything cultural, not even a generic council-run theatre or arts centre. There are 2 railway stations, but Livingston North, which has good services to Edinburgh and Glasgow (at least in daytime), is a long way from the shops and most of the houses, and the town's layout makes it impossible to provide good bus services.

Glenrothes was originally built in the 1960s as a new town for miners when they thought the coal industry had a future, but now it has two employers, the evil defence/electronics/bomb company Raytheon, and a company that does fancy secure paper/printing (essentially the last surviving paper mill in Scotland which is astonishing considering all the fucking trees). Raytheon looks like a prison camp although there was a decent gastro-pub to cater to visiting American merchants of death (drink-drive after). There is nothing to do. You can feel all life being sucked out of the town to Kirkcaldy a few miles away (which is also fairly grim but has nice cafes, a museum/gallery, and a small arts scene around people like James Yorkston), or Dundee, Dunfermline, Edinburgh. The official Glenrothes With Thornton railway station is about 5 miles out of town, ha ha ha, and Markinch station is actually closer. There's also a waste incinerator that powers the paper plant if the traffic fumes aren't enough.

I'll second (third?) the recommendation of the documentary New Town Utopia. John Grindrod's book Concretopia is very good too, although it isn't all about new towns, but covers more generally thinking around the 1951 Festival of Britain, redevelopment, etc. (And semi-related the Glasgow Motorway Archive touches on a lot of similar issues). There's a lot of interest in this kind of thing lately, as the thread has already shown.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 05:14:32 PM by dissolute ocelot »

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #70 on: June 01, 2020, 08:22:00 PM »
If the Midlands is the arse of Britain, Redditch would be the piles.

My man forgetting about (the aptly named) Brownhills.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #71 on: June 01, 2020, 08:57:40 PM »
Would somewhere like Wythenshawe count? I know it's part of Manchester really, but there's about 100,000 people living here and it has that new town feel of desolation about it.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #72 on: June 01, 2020, 09:06:18 PM »
My man forgetting about (the aptly named) Brownhills.

The wikipedia page of that is quite enthusiastic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownhills

Re: New Towns
« Reply #73 on: June 01, 2020, 09:36:41 PM »
I lived in Harlow for 5 years, between 2003 and 2008.

Horrible grey depressing town. My mood lifted as soon as I moved to Brighton.

The Square could be pretty good for bands though. One of my friends had a band that used to play pretty often.

Neomod

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #74 on: June 01, 2020, 10:10:15 PM »
Just want to extend the praise here. Lovely work.

Ta very much NSD

I've said it before ,and i'll say it again:

SKELMERSDALE

(Lovely art btw, Neomod)

Thanks Buzby. Architecturally I love that shot.

John Grindrod's book Concretopia is very good too, although it isn't all about new towns, but covers more generally thinking around the 1951 Festival of Britain, redevelopment, etc.

Speaking of which The Festival of Britain gave us these versions of Egyptian Slate so beloved of New Town municipal signage and eventually, it seems, used by everyone.





I'd really like a copy of Nicolette Gray's Lettering on Buildings (1960) as it goes into great detail about this stuff but it goes for silly money.



Horrible grey depressing town. My mood lifted as soon as I moved to Brighton.

You missed the joys of Churchill Square before they ruined it.



Re: New Towns
« Reply #75 on: June 01, 2020, 10:13:50 PM »
Lovely William Mitchell sculpture there

Re: New Towns
« Reply #76 on: June 01, 2020, 10:15:57 PM »
Just want to extend the praise here. Lovely work.

Same here. It really is marvellous.

After my mum and dad divorced my dad moved to Runcorn to the Castlefields estate. I used to spend nearly every weekend there and have fond memories of it especially the Shopping City which was quite exiting, though I used to be a bit scared of the outside stairs opposite my dad's flat. One of my brothers also lived in Runcorn at the time, in the Southgate Estate which has ben mentioned a few times on this forum. The flats were quite spacious inside from what I remember. My other brother lived in Skem though I don't think we ever went to visit him.

Someone mentioned rectangular clocks earlier. They crop up on a few postcards of the time so I think they were a thing.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #77 on: June 01, 2020, 10:16:37 PM »
The best bit of crap town architecture has to be the Walsall hippo.



They're proud of it for some reason.

Mr Eggs

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #78 on: June 01, 2020, 10:20:13 PM »


The red thing with the eyes has killed the tall tree. The woman is about to turn left and get punched by one of the drunk postmen that were always in The Birch pub.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #79 on: June 01, 2020, 10:22:35 PM »
The best bit of crap town architecture has to be the Walsall hippo.



They're proud of it for some reason.
i love how you can pay alamy for a picture of a fat old cunt sat on its face

Re: New Towns
« Reply #80 on: June 01, 2020, 10:28:08 PM »
and oh ho ho. you can't talk about new town public sculpture without these loads of old shite


Neomod

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #81 on: June 01, 2020, 10:29:17 PM »
Same here. It really is marvellous.

Cheers NN

------------------

I'm surprised there hasn't been a book of New Town photography in the style of an Our True Intent is All For Your Delight. There must have been thousands of architectural photographs taken at the time and yet all the books I can find seem to be quite dry. 

Oh...



Anyone read it?

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #82 on: June 01, 2020, 10:59:35 PM »
The best bit of crap town architecture has to be the Walsall hippo.



They're proud of it for some reason.

YOU WATCH YOUR FUCKING MOUTH

Re: New Towns
« Reply #83 on: June 01, 2020, 11:09:14 PM »
walsall hippo is great bunch of lads


FerriswheelBueller

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #84 on: June 02, 2020, 12:11:07 AM »
walsall hippo is great bunch of lads



But what’s that directly across from the hippo? Of course, it’s the statue/fountain of the startled lady with hammers flying out of her head


Re: New Towns
« Reply #85 on: June 02, 2020, 12:13:25 AM »
i am going to get my ass to walsall to see that

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #86 on: June 02, 2020, 12:29:51 AM »
i am going to get my ass to walsall to see that

This is not a wise idea.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #87 on: June 02, 2020, 12:30:48 AM »
well not now i am drunk and would be arrested

buzby

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Re: New Towns
« Reply #88 on: June 02, 2020, 01:27:06 AM »
Would somewhere like Wythenshawe count? I know it's part of Manchester really, but there's about 100,000 people living here and it has that new town feel of desolation about it.
Wythenshawe started off as a 1920s-30s slum clearance estate, and was further expanded after WWII. There was a kit if that going on in the country betwene the wars as there was a big push by the Government to get councils to build new, modern housing stock on the periphery of cities to replace old Victorian tenements in the city centres. Around the same time Liverpool massively increased in size, due to building the Queens Drive north-south arterial road outside the existing city boundary and building radial spur roads east from it, filling in the spaces with new housing estates - Speke, Gateacre, Childwall, Bowring Park, Broad Green, Knotty Ash, Page Moss, Huyton, West Derby, Clubmoor, Norris Green and Fazakerley.

After WW2 they then moved further east and added Halewood, Cantril Farm, Belle Vale, Netherely, Croxteth/Gillmoss and Netherton, but the biggest development was a completely new, self-contained town further out along the East Lancs Road, Kirkby. It was centred around the now-redundant Royal Ordnance Factory, which had been bought by Liverpool council to convert into an industrial estate. Liverpool Council did request to have it officially designated a New Town in 1949, but this was turned down, so they continued to develop it on their own until 1958 when it became an independent urban district. It was then absorbed into the newly-created borough of Knowsley in 1974.

Re: New Towns
« Reply #89 on: June 02, 2020, 12:04:01 PM »
Livingston is notable for having no town centre, but shops people still went to (till March 2020). Nice situation, trees, river, the architecture is crappy but not actively Stalinist. But the railway stations are on the outskirts, and there's a total lack of anything cultural, not even a generic council-run theatre or arts centre. There are 2 railway stations, but Livingston North, which has good services to Edinburgh and Glasgow (at least in daytime), is a long way from the shops and most of the houses, and the town's layout makes it impossible to provide good bus services.

I grew up (mostly) there. The place has sprawled out massively in the last 20 years and these days it's much more of a commuter town, albeit one with a huge shopping centre. Livingston North station is close to a lot of the new developments as well as Deans/Carmondean/Knightsridge/Ladywell. Plenty bus services to Edinburgh too, they just take ages.

There is an arts venue - http://www.howdenparkcentre.co.uk
They had Teenage Fanclub on just before the farewell to Gerry tour! Usually it's just full of tribute acts though.
There's a world renowned skate park too.

One thing it really lacks is decent boozers. Population over 56k. Decent boozers-1 (Livingston Inn).


« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 12:14:54 PM by NattyDread 2 »

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