The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Photo: Redrails, a 1930s villa we are visiting in Newquay as part of the Cornish weekend.  Featured on Channel 4 ‘Old House, New Home’ with George Clarke, architect unknown

South West

C20 South West news September 2018

We were very pleased by the recent news of the Grade II listing of the Theatre Royal, Plymouth (Peter Moro, 1982).  The listing application was initiated by the South West committee and followed through by Tess Pinto at the Society head office.  It was one of the wide variety of listings to be publicised recently as part of the 400,000 entries milestone.

On the 26 August we had an interesting two-venue visit, organised jointly with the West Region, to Hinkley Point B Nuclear Power Station and the Bakelite Museum in Somerset. The former had little of interest architecturally, but was an impressive piece of architectural engineering internally. The latter is a fascinating archive of the great diversity of things made in Bakelite, everything from children’s building sets to a Bakelite coffin.  We are planning to revisit Hinkley in 2019 to tour the latest facility there, Hinkley Point C Nuclear Station.

Regarding future events, the number of bookings for our Newquay and North Cornwall weekend (12-14 October) continues to grow.  We will be visiting and viewing housing from the ’30s onwards, up to and including the latest Duchy of Cornwall development at Tregunnal Hill.  We will also be looking at Pumping Stations, Police Stations and an RNLI Station. We will be touring by classic coach on the Sunday, when we shall also attend the Mid-Century Modern Fair at Bedruthan. More details are on the events page.

Looking further ahead, we plan a Member’s Slide Show on the 17 November. So please dig out your images of C20 trips, holidays, buildings and interesting design from our period, put them on a memory stick and let me know you will be attending –  The event will run from 2pm at a cost of £5 (including refreshments) payable at the door. We are currently in the process of booking a venue so will confirm this nearer the time: look out for details on our Facebook page or our website

Further event plans include a showing of Christopher Smiths’ film ‘New Town Utopia’, about the utopian dreams and concrete realities that make up the story of the new town of Basildon in Essex.

Finally, if you have always liked the idea of relocating to the sunny south west but not been able to find the right project to restore, the answer may be a house in St Ives. High Talland is a modernist gem, built in 1960 by the renowned portrait artist Malcolm Haylett and featured in Ideal Home magazine at the time. The original owner’s son has now put it on the market for the first time and it retains all its original features and generous gardens: see High Talland for details.

Tony Stokoe