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Queensgate Market News

National Exhibition to open at Queensgate Market.

Queensgate Market is delighted to be hosting the Victorian Society’s SAVING A CENTURY photographic exhibition from Tuesday 19 February until Saturday 30 March.

Curated by leading architectural historian, Gavin Stamp, the exhibition illustrates some of the Victorian Society’s most remarkable campaigns, among them the battle for St Pancras, Liverpool’s Albert Dock , the Foreign Office and the much-regretted Euston Arch.

Using archive photographs and material from throughout the Victorian Society’s fifty years of fighting for historic buildings, the exhibition at Queensgate Market in Huddersfield charts the successes and defeats of the organisation that has done so much to change public attitudes towards the best of the nineteenth century architecture.

Pictured:
The National Provincial Bank in Bishopsgate – the best Victorian bank building in the City of London it was proposed for demolition as part of the redevelopment of the site with the Nat West tower. It was reprieved with a Building Preservation Order following a public inquiry in 1964. Now known as Gibson Hall.

‘Saving a Century’ tells the extraordinary story of battles that have shaped our towns and cities’ said Dr Ian Dungavell, Director of the Victorian Society. ‘Without these campaigns, many of our most famous places would look very different today. The exhibition is a testament to the energy and vision of the early members of the Victorian Society as well as a sobering reminder of the way that public opinion and tastes change.’

Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration said ‘this national exhibition has toured the country visiting a number of key cities, universities and museums.

I am delighted that the Victorian Society, through the Huddersfield Civic Society, has chosen to bring this celebrated and renowned exhibition to Queensgate Market.

We have great architecture throughout Kirklees, particularly in the town centres and I’m certain that our residents will enjoy the exhibition which provides a fascinating insight into the historic architecture of the country and the work of the Victorian Society.

The exhibition will be formally opened at 1pm on Tuesday 19 February by the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr David Ridgway. The exhibition includes:

VICTORIAN BUILDINGS LOST BEFORE 1958 – A photographic survey of some of the best Victorian buildings destroyed in the first half of the twentieth century, among them Crystal Palace (burnt down 30th November 1936), Trentham Hall, Staffordshire (abandoned by the 4th Duke of Sutherland in 1906 and demolished five years later) and Queen’s Park Church, Glasgow (Scotland’s worst architectural loss of the Second World War).

THE FOUNDATION OF THE VICTORIAN SOCIETY – Photographs and material from the opening meetings of the Society. Early members included architect Hugh Casson, architectural historian Christopher Hussey, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and Sir John Betjeman.

THE EUSTON MURDER AND OTHER CASES – Photographs and text documenting the bitter battle for the Euston Arch, as well some of the Victorian Society’s other early defeats. There were early victories too, among them the Oxford University Museum, proposed for demolition in 1961 to make way for new science buildings. The Victorian Society also succeeded in getting the Broad Street Building of Balliol College listed, after it was threatened with a re-build in 1963.

VICTORY IN WHITEHALL – Photographs charting the heroic, ten-year campaign against plans to demolish much of the historic square mile, including nearly every building south of Downing Street and Richmond Terrace. Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Foreign Office, Richard Norman Shaw’s New Scotland Yard and Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square were among the buildings proposed for demolition.

PLACES OF WORSHIP – A photographic survey of some of the historic churches, chapels and synagogues with which the Victorian Society has been involved. As churches are exempt from the secular planning system, it can be particularly difficult to guard them against insensitive change. With falling attendance figures and a growing number of redundant places of worship, the future of our best churches is one of the biggest challenges facing heritage campaigners today.

RAILWAY BUILDINGS – Photographs of some of the key buildings the Victorian Society fought for, as the closure of many branch and other railway lines resulted in the redundancy of numerous stations, bridges and viaducts. That many pioneering and magnificent railway structures, such as St Pancras Station, survive today, often still in use, is very much owing to the efforts of the Society.

IRON, GLASS & STONE – Photographs of some of the most innovative nineteenth century buildings, among them Clevedon Pier, Islington’s Royal Agricultural Hall and Bradford’s Kirkgate Market, for which the Victorian Society has fought.

THE FUNCTIONAL TRADITION – Photographs of some of the most impressive industrial buildings for which the Society has fought. With the decline of the traditional industries of the North of England after the Second World War, many mills and warehouses became redundant while many Northern towns and cities became ashamed of their Victorian industrial legacy and anxious to replace it with something new. The Victorian Society, along with bodies such as SAVE Britain’s Heritage, argued that nineteenth century industrial buildings were evocative and substantial structures which were not only of historical importance but capable of gainful re-use.

THE PURPLE OF COMMERCE – Photographs of some of the most significant Victorian commercial buildings to have come under threat in the last fifty years. Built partly as self-advertisements and partly to inspire confidence, these ambitious and substantial banks, offices and warehouses too often fall victim to redevelopment schemes.

COUNTRY HOUSES – Photographs of some of the grandest country houses to have been the subject of Victorian Society campaigns, among them Shadwell Park, Tyntesfield and Highcliffe Castle. Rendered redundant by social and cultural changes, some of the most famous large houses were demolished between the wars while many more disappeared in the 1950s.

DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE – A collection of photographs of some of the Victorian villas and terraced houses for which the Victorian Society has fought. Often extravagant and fanciful buildings, these buildings are regularly demolished to allow higher density developments in their grounds or make way for flats.

PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS – A photographic survey of some of the best municipal buildings that have been saved or lost. Physical embodiments of the Victorians’ strong sense of civic pride and duty, many of these splendid town halls, libraries, swimming pools, museums, art galleries and post offices still add much to the rich character of British towns and cities today.

BEACONS OF THE FUTURE – A survey of some of the Society’s most recent campaigns, focusing on the battle for Victorian schools and swimming pools. Among the battles highlighted are the protest and funeral for Bonner School, the Public Inquiry for Easington Colliery School and the local campaign for the Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham.

THE VICTORIANS REDEEMED – Photographs of some of the most notable Victorian buildings used and valued today.

The Victorian Society is the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment. It fights to preserve important Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes so that they can be enjoyed by this and future generations.

It provides expert advice to churches and local planning authorities on how Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes can be adapted to the way we live now, while keeping what is special about them. It also advises members of the public about how they can help shape the future of their local Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes.

It provides information to owners of Victorian and Edwardian houses about how they can better look after their precious buildings. It helps people understand, appreciate and enjoy the architectural heritage of the Victorian and Edwardian period through its publications and educational programmes.

www.victoriansociety.org.uk

 

 

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