The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

RNLI Lifeboat Station at Mother Ivey’s Bay by Poynton, Bradbury, Wynter and Cole,1996

South West

C20 South West Group News November 2018

We had a very successful weekend in Newquay and North Cornwall on the 13-14 October, looking at a fantastic variety of C20 work, everything from lifeboat stations (above) to concrete aircraft hangers; police stations to contemporary seaside villas. If you missed the weekend but would like a copy of the excellent notes, compiled by organiser Robert Dowden, please email me.  A full report will be in the next C20 magazine.

The Theatre Royal, Plymouth by the Peter Moro Partnership (1979-82; extended in 2013 by Andrzej Blonski) is now Grade II-listed. We were pleased to see that the city’s principal theatre  made the headlines alongside the 400,000th building to be listed in England!

The C20SW Committee continue to be involved in discussions about the historic environment in Plymouth, including the proposed Plymouth Conservation Area. Following the unveiling of plans for Plymouth Civic Centre by Urban Splash and Gillespie Yunnie architects in June, the Society still has some concerns over the proposals, particularly the detailing of the glazing and the infilling of the space between the Civic Centre and the Council House.

We are supporting a screening in Plymouth of the film New Town Utopia on the 22 November at Plymouth Arts Centre. The film documents the dreams and concrete realities that make up the story of the new town of Basildon in Essex, and the screening will be followed by a panel discussion. More details can found at

Looking forward to 2019, we hope to arrange a visit to Looe and Polperro in south-east Cornwall. The area is home to lots of modernist houses, such as the 1930s ‘Gradna’ (recently restored by Stan Bolt). If you have any ideas of places to visit, and contact details for owners, please let us know.

Although our application to list the former WH Smith on Boscowen Street in Truro (John Crowther Architects, 1963) was unsuccessful, we are monitoring proposals to insert windows into the mosaic external elevations, and the impact this would have not just on the building but the city’s conservation area.

Finally, at Jubilee Pool, Penzance, planning permission has been given to link the four pavilions on the roadside of this Grade II listed seawater pool. The proposals will allow for a more flexible use of the site though we are less happy about the proposed ‘wave-like’ roof, which is not in keeping with the Deco style of the pool.

Tony Stokoe