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Photographer, scribbler, model maker, beer fancier, self confessed train nutter & general nerd.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Demolition!

Catcott Crossing, September 1966. It's just 6 months after closure and the demolition contractors have already started to dismantle the railway. Most of the railway buildings on 'The Branch' survived the demolition men, with many of then ending up in private hands, unlike the Bath to Bournemouth line which ended up losing well over half its stations to the swinging iron ball.

It's interesting now as to whether the same thing happened again whether such woeful vandalism would be tolerated - for starters there are few people who would turn down the chance of owning an old railway station these days, certainly there would be far more money in such than a pile of stone rubble. But of course in the 1960's everybody hated anything old, we wanted new and modern, after all it was the space age! Now 40-50 years on we see old buildings that avoided the developers' mallets outliving some of the appalling tat the defined much of 1960's and 1970's Britain.

I was only looking through a book of immediate post-war photographs of my home town the other day, and noticed just how much vandalism took place in the late 1960's, certainly down by the river and the main railway station. The book displayed some beautiful medieval architecture, the sort of architecture, which had it survived to the present day would easily place my town alongside the beautiful cities of York and Bath. Sadly now, due to likely backhanders at local government level a generation and a half ago my town will never achieve such status, but I'm sure it ensured a comfortable retirement for the already fat cats who passed the schemes. One can however take joy in the fact that many of these semi-legal abominations are now being demolished, it's just a shame that the individuals who instigated these urban re-developments are have mostly passed way and cannot see their demise.

9 comments:

  1. Yet those old buildings in the photos were once new, and possibly just as controversial when they were built. I live in a Georgian town with a Victorian brick town hall. Would such a building be allowed now ? Probably not, we'd have to have a mock Georgian building to go with those mock-tudor housing estates.

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  2. I don't have a problem with modern architecture if it's well built, interesting and of high quality. Having recently been to Berlin it's amazing what can been done with proper planning, construction and design.

    So much in the 1960's was the result of jobs for the boys. These days with modern communications it's far less easy for the wool to be pulled over peoples eyes thankfully.

    Until recently I lived in the 1960's house - it was so shoddy, we could smell next door's cooking in the bedroom and hear ablutions coming from their bathroom in the morning. Now we live in a much older house with everything properly engineered and thankfully no shared walls.

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  3. Wonderful comments Chris, I live in Malta now and sadly its still happening here! Chris Holland

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  4. My mum says thats not demolition its just a plastic gate he's put on the track....

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  5. Well I hope the demolition team take a while as I hope to see the layout running at Wycrail on Saturday :o)

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  6. Hope you're not replacing it with a Faller "guided Busway" !!!!

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  7. Chris, could you tell me about your Buffer stops please. Are they hand made and if so any tips? Chris Holland

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  8. That's just a Peco one, people often snub them, but with with a little work (about 20 seconds tidying up) they're great. You can drive a train into them and they don't fall apart either.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nevardmedia/3162100823/in/set-72157612039096669

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  9. Thanks Chris, what about the buffer stops you used on 'Polbrock' they look different.
    Chris Holland

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