When looking for good examples of 20th Century architecture and design, Bradford on Avon might not immediately spring to mind. This former woollen and weaving town is known for its huge variety of historic buildings going right back to Saxon times, set in a gorgeous valley with the 16th Century town bridge as its centrepiece. Its architecture ranges from modest ex weavers cottages to mighty mill buildings which have driven the town’s prosperity through the ages.
Its traditional industries declined during the 19th Century to be replaced by the rubber industry. Existing buildings were adapted and new ones built, allowing the town to maintain employment through the 20th Century. Once that too ended in the 1990’s, Bradford had to reinvent itself again, becoming a genteel place to live, a haven for independent shops and a tourist destination. This has resulting in some fascinating adaptations and new insertions; the mixed use riverside Kingston Mills development is of particular note. However, as always in a historic town, modern architecture has not been without opposition, and an influential preservation group has fought hard (not always successfully) to block anything labelled ‘Not in keeping’.
We will met at a café from 10.30, and then at 11.00 walk around the town centre to see, and discuss, how the 20th Century has affected the built environment of the town. Lunch will be in a riverside restaurant at 12.30, after which we will travel, we hope by coach, to the edges of the town to see modern insertions of various types. It is planned that we will be able to visit at least one interesting C20 private house.
Further details including a lunch menu and the cost of the trip will be confirmed at a later date.
All are welcome, including members outside the West Group but numbers will be limited and bookings will be on a first come first served basis. If you are interested please contact Jack Konynenburg.
It is almost AGM time again. This year the c20 West Group AGM will be held in the exciting venue of Rook Lane Chapel, Frome. Rook Lane is a space for art, architecture, performance and education. A unique arts centre housed in a restored 18th century chapel, Rook Lane is home to NVB Architects and the base for Rook Lane Arts Trust. There is lots of interesting information about the chapel on the web site.
As always we will combine the AGM with a visit to buildings of interest. Details to be confirmed but please get the date in your diaries.