Archive | February 2022

Victorian Coach House, Sheffield

Demolition of a Victorian coach house in East Sheffield:

Now I accept this isn’t a big deal. It’s a modest garage for a wealthy Victorian family, from a period when this part of the city was the reserve of the monied mercantile class of the city.

But I’ve walked down this street, and somehow this building really does anchor its character. One end of the street is a multistory carpark vision of post-modern Sheffield. But this end is stone and slate.

Hopefully, something of high quality will replace it, rather than four parking spaces for the adjacent doctors’ surgery.

Map circa 1900

Silver Fox pub, Stocksbridge

Pub in South Yorkshire to be demolished for 12 houses:

This pub has been up for sale for £225,000, which is a steal considering its also a very large handsome house. Even if you lived upstairs and had your own personal pub downstairs, you’d still be getting a home far bigger than anything else for that money nearby. Maybe the marketing didn’t quite reach a big enough audience.

I can see that delivering 12 houses will appeal to some, but as ever I contend that houses can be delivered on this site whilst retaining the building. Its only been closed since 2019, which is not enough time to demonstrate a cultural shift in Stocksbridge away from pub-going. The people around here clearly still need a boozer! I count 2 remaining pubs in Stocksbridge. This is a town of 10,000 people.

It’s not the most quaint pub, set in an overly large concrete car park (could have been your front garden…) in a housing estate. The historic maps show the pub to be on the site on an earlier property called Half Hall, however, the current building dates from 1963 – relatively modern in spite of its appearance alluding to early 19th-century pub architecture.

Horse and Groom pub, Goldthorpe

Application by Barnsley Council to knock down a pub they have bought: https://wwwapplications.barnsley.gov.uk/PlanningExplorerMVC/Home/ApplicationDetails?planningApplicationNumber=2021%2F0959#summary

If its not the brewery cashing in, or a volume housebuilder picking up recently closed pubs, then it turns out your Local Authority will knock your pub down for you. Barnsley Council purchased this pub with part of the £23.1m Towns Fund stipend it received from Central Government. An odd use of money considering there are derelict brownfield sites throughout the district that could be acquired via CPO much more economically. It is public money after all.

Goldthorpe has seen its centre carved out over the last few years, in spite of regeneration money pouring in and replacing the serviceable pavements with what appear to be stone bar codes. Demolishing the local is apparently the next step in this regeneration.

Although still trading in 2019, the pub has already gone such is the swiftness of an application to The Council by The Council. I really hate seeing pubs disappear at this rate.

Former Blakeys Ironworks, Armley

Dilapidated north-light mill complex in Leeds to be cleared:

These are the demolitions that hurt the most, because as soon as I see the notice go into the planning portal, I know there is no hope. A messy, composite industrial building, in an area of low value, outside of any regeneration framework. The odds are firmly against buildings like these.

The frontage above which seamlessly transitions from domestic architecture to the end of the northlight factory floor is the stuff of dreams for the purveyors of industrial-chic, such as Urban Splash. If I was the planner I’d make sure this fade was retained and some high quality public realm secured to the front of this elevation to complement it.

Most people think these forges and factories are dirty old Leeds, that need to be expunged. I see a robustly designed building that maximises the industrial output of such a small plot, and creates a frontage to the road that is geometrically absurd, and unique. The shapes and textures you see above will never be replicated in industrial architecture again.

For years this factory operated as Blakeys Iron Works, producing boot potectors, of all things. Amazingly these ‘segs’ (as they are known) continue to me manufactured in Walsall. I’m sure Armley is still full of the workers who would have passed through these gates each day. Go have a wander down there before February 9th, before its gone.