The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

BBC Newcastle debate


Just been talking on BBC Newcastle— dicussion about the value of heritage promoted by the listing of both Sam Scorer’s Little Chef canopy (see our blog last week) and the listing of  this one in Red Hill Leicstershire.  They make an interesting contrast– the Sam Scorer one is  a one-off building by a local architect, passionate about foreign developments and new materials, and working with an emigre engineer; the Red Hill one is the last surviving UK example of a bit of US industrial design by Eliot Noyes –it was one of many built here and in the US to help create Esso’s brand image–But both emaphasise how modern and exciting driving was felt to be.

I was looking on the Daily Mail’s website and was really pleased to see that their article on the Red Hill listing had been really welcomed by on-line commenters– (usually a sure source of “concrete monstrosity” quotes).

Here’s a break down of what’s been said:

Definitely in favour of the decision—(6) :

The design hasn’t dated at all. They should bring them back!

I can see why. It’s great……………..

At last, something from the sixties that IS worth preserving

That is a nice piece of “pop art” building. Good to see it kept.

I like that place – it looks very cool! Easily the best looking petrol station there could be!

Yep, I love this design, glad to see it is being protected. Well done English heritage……..

Positive , but slightly at a tangent… (2)

Those were the days when someone actually operated the pumps too. MEMORIES!!!!!!

I could kick myself, when I was an 19 year old I would say to myself start photographing petrol stations around the north of england, now most have disappeared and I never even started my little project, I concentrated on my own town, now twenty five years later I video as much as possible of the north on my limited budget.

Against  (2)

Ahh, the sixties when the music became really good and archictecture became really bad. Doesn’t exactly pass the “Louvre test”, does it ?

It’s not patch on the architecture of kowloon city

the article is

Far out! Britain’s last space-age style petrol station from the Sixties given listed status

By Rick Dewsbury

PUBLISHED: 7 May 2012   see


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