University of Birmingham, Birmingham

Birmingham University
Postmarked 1911
Publisher: Woolstone Bros, London

The main campus of the university occupies a site some 3 miles (4.8 km) south-west of Birmingham city centre, in Edgbaston. It is arranged around Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower (affectionately known as ‘Old Joe’ or ‘Big Joe’), a grand campanile which commemorates the university’s first chancellor, Joseph Chamberlain. Chamberlain may be considered the founder of Birmingham University, and was largely responsible for the university gaining its Royal Charter in 1900 and for the development of the Edgbaston campus. The university’s Great Hall is located in the domed Aston Webb Building, which is named after one of the architects – the other was Ingress Bell. The initial 25-acre (100,000 m2) site was given to the university in 1900 by Lord Calthorpe. The grand buildings were an outcome of the £50,000 given by steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to establish a “first class modern scientific college” on the model of Cornell University in the United States. Funding was also provided by Sir Charles Holcroft.

The original domed buildings, built in Accrington red brick, semicircle to form Chancellor’s Court. This sits on a 30 feet (9.1 m) drop, so the architects placed their buildings on two tiers with a 16 feet (4.9 m) drop between them. The clock tower stands in the centre of the Court. The campanile itself draws its inspiration from the Torre del Mangia, a medieval clock tower that forms part of the Town Hall in Siena, Italy. When it was built, it was described as ‘the intellectual beacon of the Midlands’ by the Birmingham Post. The clock tower was Birmingham’s tallest building from the date of its construction in 1908 until 1969

The original buildings of the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, on Chancellor’s Court. Aston Webb & Ingress Bell. 1909. Accrington red brick with saucer domes, with some features reminiscent of Francis Bentley’s Byzantine Westminster Cathedral of 1895-1903; it differs in style from Oxbridge colleges just as that cathedral was intended to differ from the Gothic Westminster Abbey. The buildings also owe something to the pavilion plan of recent hospitals like Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Leeds General Infirmary, where wards diverge from a central front — though, surprisingly, the Great Hall, seen on the left here, was not originally intended to be in this position. The result is a very distinctive — indeed stunning — ensemble. Stone dressings, especially on the entrance pavilion to the Great Hall, relieve the red brick. So do the main decorative elements — a row of nine statues by Henry Alfred Pegram over the main doorways, heraldic carving in the spandrels of the round-arched window, and a ceramic frieze by Robert Anning Bell higher up on the façade. Within their allotted spaces, these features complement rather than distract from the bold outlines of the buildings — a “geometry of squares and circles, cubes and hemispheres, perhaps inspired by (W. R.) Lethaby’s Architecture. Mysticism and Myth (1892).
Victorian Web

“Plan of the New University Buildings at Edgaston”, “The Journal of the Institute of Metals, Vol I”, 1909, pp. 18

The University of Birmingham, which received its Royal Charter in 1900, is the first of the group of modern Universities founded in England during the past eight years, and is the immediate successor of the Mason University College. This College, which owed its inception and foundation to the late Sir Josiah Mason, was opened in the year 1880, and afforded means for the scientific and literary training of the youth of the Midlands for a period of twenty years. The College had at first only four Professors, having charge respectively of the teaching in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, but other departments in Science and Literature were added at a very early date, and in 1892 the work of the College became still further extended by the incorporation of the Medical Faculty of Queen’s College. . . . Soon after the Charter of a University had been granted, it was felt that the accommodation of the Mason College was too restricted, and it was accordingly decided to erect new buildings, in which, first of all, the departments of Applied and Pure Science, but ultimately all the teaching departments, should be housed. This decision was assisted by the gift of Lord Calthorpe to the University of a site of 25 acres at Bournbrook, distant about three miles from the centre of Birmingham. In 1907 Lord Calthorpe gave an additional 19 acres, whiich is now being laid out for College games. The architects of the new buildings are Sir Aston Webb and Mr. Ingress Bell, and the accompanying plan [left] shows the scheme for the whole of the buildings to be erected on the site, and also for the laying out of the grounds.
“The Journal of the Institute of Metals, Vol I”. 1909, pp. 16-7

The main portion of the [Metallurgical] department is all situated on one floor, one of the large blocks being allocated to Metallurgy and Mining. The lower half of this block is devoted to Mining, and the upper half to Metallurgy. The Metallurgical department is approached by a central corridor, as shown [below] and in the sketch plan, and this corridor, which is lighted from above, gives access to all the rooms and laboratories, and also to the teaching museum.
“The Journal of the Institute of Metals, Vol I”. 1909, pp. 19

“Central Corridor and Museum” (Metallurgical Department) “The Journal of the Institute of Metals, Vol I”. 1909, pp. 20
Metallurgical Department “The Journal of the Institute of Metals, Vol I”. 1909, pp. 21

King’s Hall, Belfast

The King’s Hall, Balmoral, Befast.
Ireland’s greatest exhibition hall, biult by the Royal Ulster Agicultural Society.
And opened on 29th May, 1934, by H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester K.G.
Postmarked 1939
Publisher: Hurst & Co

The King’s Hall was a multi-purpose venue located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The King’s Hall consisted of 6 event venues. The King’s Hall is owned by the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) (previously the North East Agricultural Association of Ireland), who moved to the venue in 1896 from their previous showgrounds in Belfast Corporation Markets area.
. . .
The King’s Hall was designed by Leitch and Partners, Glasgow, built in 1933 by J & R Thompson, Belfast and opened by the Duke of Gloucester on 29 May 1934. The King’s Hall was the largest exhibition venue in Northern Ireland and prior to the completion of the Odyssey and the Waterfront Hall, was the only large concert venue in Northern Ireland. It hosted the Balmoral Show, an annual agricultural show with regular attendees in excess of 75,000. The stepped facade of the hall features substantial windows and Art Deco motifs on doors and buttresses. Inside, the functional space is spanned by reinforced concrete arches.

The Kings Hall at the Balmoral Showgrounds was constructed in 1933-34 as a permanent exhibition hall for the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society and was officially opened on 29th May 1934 by H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, being renamed the ‘King’s Hall’ by the permission of King George V. The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society immediately put the Kings Hall to use for a variety of purposes. In 1936 alone the hall was utilised for a number of exhibitions, evangelical meetings, boxing and wrestling contests and a circus that was held at Christmas. Staples of the annual schedule at the Kings Hall included the Ideal Home Show, motor shows and wedding exhibitions. In later decades the hall would also be used for music concerts; the Beatles famously performed at the Kings Hall on 2nd November 1964. The Kings Hall was put to a very different use during the Second World War when the exhibition hall was requisitioned for the duration of the conflict. The premises at Balmoral were occupied until a few months after the end of hostilities in 1945. The Air Ministry (Ministry of Supply) acquired the site in 1940 and converted the Kings Hall into an aircraft factory for Short Bros. & Harland in order to construct fuselages for Stirling Bombers.
King’s Hall Health and Wellbeing Park

Rowntree Memorial Park, York

Rowntree Memorial Park, York

Google Street View (approximate).

Google Street View overview of park

Rowntree Park opened on the 16th of July 1921, as a gift to the people of York from the Rowntree Family and it was “intended to serve as a perpetual memorial to the members of the Cocoa works staff that fell and suffered in the War”. Rowntree stated he wanted the park to “afford many rest and recreation from the turmoil and stress of life, and bring health and happiness to a large number of young lives”. From that day on, the park was owned and managed by York City Council. The deeds to 17 acres of land were signed in 1919 and the land cost £1,500. The work was funded, supervised and maintained by the Rowntree Village Trust. The building of the park created work for those who had none. The architect, Fredrick Rowntree, added a flood prevention system. The area was drained in 1919, with 19,000 yards of pipes being laid, sluice gates installed and a flood wall at the southern end of the park.
Friends of Rowntree Park

As the city’s first municipal park, it had many things to offer for the people of York. As both a public park and a recreational ground, the park’s designers aimed to encourage the well-being and pleasure of the people. Originally there were formal gardens, a tearoom, bowling greens, an ornamental lake, and even an outdoor swimming pool.
History of York

The Park comprises two bowling-greens, a girls’ hockey-ground, boys’ cricket-ground, a lake (the walk-round which measures about half a mile), a wading-pool and sand-beach for children. There are sunk rose-gardens and a bandstand. The lake, which is fed with the overflow from the wading-pool, is shallow, so as to be free from danger to- children and to skaters in winter. An aerial pump maintains the supply of fresh water to the wading-pool, which is overlooked by a shelter. The Park is entered by a lych gate, within which is a memorial tablet. There are well-appointed.tea-rooms inside the Park.
“Annual Reports of the Medical Officer Of Health, the Inspector Of Nuisances, and the Public Analyst” City of York, 1921

Ladies Bathing Place, Portrush, Co. Antrim

Ladies Bathing Place, Portrush
1930s, postmarked 1943
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

The Victorians discovered and extolled the health advantages of sea air and sea-water bathing during the later years of the 19thCentury. Even much later, in 1929, the Portrush Urban District Council was extolling the virtues of the summer Atlantic breezes – “provide a pure and bracing atmosphere which is wonderfully invigorating and far-famed as the best of tonics”. A small sheltered beach on the East side of the Portrush Peninsula became popular with ladies and children and in time became known as “The Ladies Bathing Place”. Victorian sensibilities precluded mixed bathing so gentlemen had to find other locations such as the Blue Pool for their own bathing.
. . .
By the turn of the century the popularity of the Ladies Bathing Place necessitated the provision of better facilities which were provided in due course by Messrs Robert Chalmers, a local businessman, Town Councillor and Mr Campbell joint proprietors of “Campbell & Chalmers, The Corner Shop” Grocers and Provision Merchants on Main Street, Portrush. Their new shop replaced the early wooden kiosks and provided confectionery, refreshments, souvenirs and other beach side requisites. The sign on the shop invited us to purchase genuine Cailler’s Swiss Chocolate which, they claimed, was the best-selling chocolate in the world.

By 1912 the upsurge in business required larger premises and again Messrs Chalmers & Campbell were there to provide for the needs of holidaymakers. A new two storey shop with single storey side extension was provided in which there was a fine café. In good weather customers could partake of their repast on the roof balcony. This was also used for evening tea dances which might feature entertainment such as Madame Levantes’ Ladies Orchestra. A concrete breakwater and sun-deck were also constructed at this time. By 1926 the name “Arcadia” had appeared on the café and shop and the café had acquired a roofed upper storey with the lower storey being remodelled to match. This upper storey contained a small ballroom with a stage at the seaward end and was used for tea dances and other functions for many years. Several kiosks were still provided beside the Arcadia probably providing deckchairs and other beach goods and bathing boxes were still available to the rear with direct access to the beach and the sea.
Discover Portrush

Royal Box, Grandstand, Goodwood, West Sussex

Goodwood, Grand Stand, Royal Box
Publisher: Francis Frith

Google Street View (approximate).

A new stand was built in 1903 with a Royal pavilion attached at the paddock end for the King. At the other end, Queen Alexandra had a box with a private underground passage connecting the two. No expense was spared for either box: the King’s lavatory was made of monogrammed marble.

In 1976, however, the parade ring was moved to the south side of the racecourse behind the March Stand. At the same time, the weighing room, which had previously been in the old Charlton building, was relocated to the north side of the parade ring. This involved moving the old road south of the racecourse. The old Stand was demolished after the Festival meeting of 1979 and replaced by the present March Stand, designed by the architect Sir Philip Dowson, which won the annual Concrete Society Award.
Goodwood via Wayback Machine

Venetian Bridge, Clacton-on-Sea, England

The Bridge, Clacton-on-Sea

Google Street View.

Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town in the Tendring peninsula and district in Essex, eastern England, and was founded as an urban district in 1871. . . . In 1871 the Essex railway engineer and land developer Peter Bruff, the steamboat owner William Jackson, and a group of businessmen built a pier and the Royal Hotel (now converted to flats) on a stretch of farmland adjoining low gravelly cliffs and a firm sand-and-shingle beach near the villages of Great and Little Clacton. The town of Clacton-on-Sea was officially incorporated in 1872 and laid out rather haphazardly over the next few years: though it has a central ‘grand’ avenue (originally Electric Parade, now Pier Avenue) the street plan incorporates many previously rural lanes and tracks, such as Wash Lane. Plots and streets were sold off piecemeal to developers and speculators. In 1882 the Great Eastern Railway already serving the well-established resort of Walton-on-the-Naze along the coast, built a spur to Clacton-on-Sea with a junction at Thorpe-le-Soken. Clacton grew into the largest seaside resort between Southend-on-Sea and Great Yarmouth, with some 10,000 residents by 1914 and approx. 20,000 by 1939.

The bridge crosses Pier Gap that leads down to the pier from the town. It was built in 1914 to provide pedestrian access from the seaside attractions on the cliff on one side of the gap to the other.

The Dorchester, London

The Dorchester, London, W.1.

Google Street View.

Sir Robert McAlpine created a vision for what he considered to be the perfect hotel. His vision became a reality when The Dorchester opened its doors on April 20, 1931. The state-of-the-art design was built in record time over 18 months, at the speed of a floor a week, to become the world’s first hotel to be constructed from reinforced concrete.
The Dorchester

Sir Owen Williams was commissioned to design the new hotel, using reinforced concrete to allow the creation of large internal spaces without support pillars, but he abandoned the project in February 1930 and was replaced with William Curtis Green. James Maude Richards, hired by Williams, served as an architectural assistant within the all-engineer staff. Percy Morley Horder, consulting architect to Gordon’s Hotels, had not been consulted during the design process and, after seeing the plan, resigned from the project, remarking to The Observer that the design was ill-suited for the location, assuming the concrete was to be left unpainted and that the insulation would be minimal. Some 40,000 tonnes of earth were excavated to make room for the hotel’s extensive basement which is one-third of the size of the hotel above the surface. The upper eight floors were erected in just 10 weeks, supported on a massive 3 feet (0.91 m) thick reinforced concrete deck that forms the roof of the first floor.

View from the Monument to the Great Fire of London, London

London from the Monument
On the back:
London from the Monument.– The Monument, on Fish Street Hill, from which this photogprah as taken, 202 feet high. The river Thames ins prominent on the right of the view, also the Tower brdige. Towards the left may be seen the grim old Tower of London.
Postmarked 1948
Publisher: Valentine & Sons Ltd, London & Dundee

Google Street View.

One of the City’s best-loved attractions, The Monument offers panoramic views over London. Climb 311 steps to be rewarded with breathtaking views of the City, as well as a certificate of achievement – a special souvenir for children and adults alike. Built to commemorate the Great Fire that devastated the City of London in 1666, The Monument was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. It was constructed and built in 1671-7. The simple Doric column is topped by a flaming urn of copper gilded with two layers of gold leaf to symbolise the Great Fire.
City of London

“The Monument to the Great Fire of London” The Graphic, 1891 (from Wikimedia Commons)

It took nearly fifty years to rebuild the burnt area of the City, with 85 churches including St Paul’s Cathedral destroyed. Parliament enforced new guidelines for the rebuilding of the City including the implementation of wider roads and the construction of houses from brick and stone rather than timber. The task of rebuilding London was given to a committee of six, including Sir Christopher Wren, known as the ‘Commissioners for Rebuilding’. Wren produced ambitious plans for the re-build which were mostly rejected, however Wren did design 51 new city churches, as well as the new St Paul’s Cathedral and of course, The Monument.

Dr Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren together created the final design for The Monument, and construction work commenced in 1671. It took six years to finish, partly due to the difficulty of obtaining enough Portland stone of the required dimensions, and partly due to the safety of the transport as we were at war with the Dutch again between 1672-4. It was finally completed and opened in 1677.
The Monument

“Viso del Monumento Fabricato Per Memoriam Delincendio Tragico Del Anno MDCLXVI A Londra Monument an der Fish Street. Kolorierter Kupferstich”, c,1750 (from Wikimedia Commons)

Wishing Well, Upwey, Dorset

Wishing Well, Upwey
1900s, possibly 1905 (see below)
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Although this is known as the Wishing Well, it is not strictly a well at all but rather is a natural spring which is the source of the River Wey which flows from Upwey to Weymouth some 5 miles downstream. It is believed to date back to the last Ice Age and was at one time the village’s water supply. It is at this point where, because of the formation of rock, sand and clay, water literally bubbles its way to the surface from the underground stream. The water is always clear and maintains a steady temperature of 10.5 degrees.
The Dorset Rambler

Frederick Treves remembered Upwey in the 1860s as ‘a spot of faint interest … there was no particular ground for assuming that a wish expressed at Upwey would have special advantages’. However, by 1906 he found at the spring ‘a seat placed under two ridiculous stone arches has been erected for the benefit of the tripper. For the benefit of the villager, on the other hand, the following ritual has been introduced, which has proved to be more lucrative than a mere gazing at the waters. The wisher receives a glass of the water from the custodian, he drinks it with appropriate giggling, empties the glass by throwing it over his left shoulder [makes a wish], and most important of all, makes an offering of money to the keeper of the well … it is a curious spectacle for the twentieth century’. Treves seems astonished that ‘Folk of all kinds go through this formula for attaining of supposed ends – old men and maidens, young men and children’.
. . .
Treves was a doctor, properly scientific and not likely to endorse this new ‘tradition’. He had known Upwey over the time it changed from a roadside spring (admittedly a very big one) into a magical well. Happily this development was so late that there are photographs of each phase. First the unaltered spring, very picturesque. Then the spring has a stone surround (indeed looking like a well) added and a rustic seat is built along the wall. About 1905 this seat was rebuilt in stone with gothicky arches, the version which survives today.
Dorset Life

The village of Upwey-the Upper Town on the Wey- affords an extraordinary instance of the value of a happy, if meaningless, title. Upwey is’one of the places of pilgrimage for the Weymouth holiday-makers. They come here in hundreds, mostly in coaches and wagonettes. The reason for their coming to Upwey is a spring there with the fascinating title of the ” Wishing Well.” It is to see the Wishing Well that the romantically minded pay their shillings for a seat in the crowded char-a-banc.
. . .
The well, as I remember it some forty years ago, was a spot of faint interest; its powers were ill-defined, and there was no particular ground for assuming that a wish expressed at Upwey would have especial advantage. The place is pleasant enough, in spite of the crowd, the swings, and the tea-gardens. A spring issues from the foot of a wooded bank, and, hurrying away under an avenue of trees, vanishes at the mill. A seat placed under two ridiculous stone arches has been erected for the benefit of the tripper. For the benefit of the villager, on the other hand, the following ritual has been introduced, which has proved to be more lucrative than a mere gazing at the waters. The wisher receives a glass of water from the custodian of this Fons Bandusea, he drinks it with appropriate giggling, empties the glass by throwing the water over his left shoulder, and, most important of all, makes an offering of money to the keeper of the well.
“Highways and Byways of Dorset, Joseph Pennell, 1914”, Dorset Online Parish Clerks

Winter Gardens, Margate, Kent

Margate. The Pavilion & Winter Garden
Seems to be a 1930s postcard using an earlier photo, possibly from when the Winter Gardens opened in 1911.
Publisher: The Photochrom Co. Ltd, London & Tunbridge Wells

It was realised that the entertainment offered by the town to the visitor via private enterprise was generally inadequate. To remedy the situation the Council in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, formed a Fetes Committee in 1900. . . . The site of the Winter Gardens took the committee years to find. By the end of the season in 1910, they had found the central site that was required – Fort Green. The main reason for the proposed Pavilion and Winter Gardens being situated in an artificial hollow at Fort Green was that the existing buildings around Fort Green had a covenant. This did not allow the erection of any building on the green which could obscure the view or light of the ground floors of these buildings. From the time of the plans being approved and the cutting of the first sod by the then-new Mayor of Margate Mr Booth Reeve, the Pavilion and Winter Gardens took just nine months to build at a cost of £26,000.

When completed the Pavilion and Winter Gardens consisted of: a large Concert Hall, four entrance halls, two side wings and an amphitheatre. Internally, the Pavilion and Winter Gardens was decorated in a Neo-Grecian style, which first appears in the 1830’s. Originally the stage could be viewed from both the main hall and the amphitheatre with the ability to enclose the stage in bad weather. The accommodation was for about 2,500 persons inside the building and 2,000 in the open air.
Margate Winter Gardens (via Wayback Machine)

Built in 1911 in a neo-Grecian style, designed by the Borough Surveyor, Mr E A Borg. 1930s additions. The amphitheatre was roofed over in the late-C20. Stuccoed with some cast iron railings.

PLAN: Originally a two-storey main hall to the north, with a promenade along the flat roof, flanked by vestibules with rooms over and attached one-storey semi-circular amphitheatre to the south with open centre, colonnading to the sides and ticket offices to north-east and north-west. In the 1930s a seaside cafe was added to the north, the amphitheatre roofed over and offices and a covered entrance added to the south.

INTERIOR: The original entrances and ticket offices were to the north-west and north-east. The north-west entrance retains a ticket office with a coffered ceiling with paterae, a cornice with mutules and swags, panelled walls and wide doorcases with console brackets and paterae. The original semi-circular ticket booth survives with a cornice of mutules and paterae, pilasters and three curved panels, the upper halves glazed with marginal glazing, the central one with original counter. This leads into a vestibule with similar decoration but also a wall panel with caduceus (image of the staff of Hermes entwined with two serpents) and doorcase with anthemion, shell and brackets above the cornice. The main hall has a deep coffered ceiling and deep coved cornices. The stage in the centre of the south side has a proscenium arch with giant columns, panels and shield above and a series of panels with paterae. East and west sides have large balconies with caryatids to the south sides and cast iron balustrades with Greek key decoration flanked by reliefs with caduceus, shells and laurel wreaths. Curved staircases lead up to the balconies
Historic England