A Sussex boiler house

Sussex boiler houseBack from the Association for Industrial Archaeology conference¬†on the University of Sussex campus at Falmer, now just across the roaring A27 from the Brighton & Hove Albion ground. The sun shone, the Downs looked tempting – so here’s a photo of the University’s boiler house! The campus, designed by Basil Spence over a period of years, is fascinating. Two stand-out buildings are Falmer House, all arches and views through, and the Meeting House, a spectacular white concrete (I think) circular-ish building with masses of panes of coloured glass lighting the upper chapel. The rather less noticed boiler house is also a real success, an industrial take on the themes running through the campus, and reminiscent of Tate Modern in its brickwork. I hope the prospective students and their parents packing the campus for open day last Saturday enjoyed it as much as I did. Thanks to all the conference organisers, and whoever arranged the barrel of Harveys Best in the bar!

A window into another world

Slessor windowHere’s another for the small collection of stained glass windows showing industrial scenes. It shows a Dundee jute factory with a mill girl – in fact Mary Slessor, who went on to be a missionary in Africa – along with a pretty correct depiction of the machinery, line shafting and all. It dates from 1923 and was designed by William Aikman as a memorial to Slessor; it can be found in the caf√© at the McManus Gallery in Dundee. Great excuse to pop in for a coffee…. though I just paid a flying visit (almost literally) while in the city to take a photo of the massive and very wonderful Cox’s Stack out at the Camperdown Works. It is a polychromatic chimney which could be straight out of Rawlinson’s 1850s chimney design monograph. Now stands rather sadly in a ‘leisure park’ where various efforts have been made to copy its polychromy.

A brewer’s memorial

Boddington window ManchesterJust finished my presentation for the Northern Architectural History Society meeting next week. Was considering using this pic, which is the memorial window of brewer Henry Boddington (1813-86) at St Ann’s Church in Manchester, but disappointingly (though not unusually) it has no brewing-related imagery. The window was part of a c1890 scheme by artist Frederic Shields on the theme of the good shepherd, all carried out by the firm Heaton, Butler & Bayne. Boddington’s Strangeways Brewery closed in 2005 and was demolished all but its iconic chimney stack, which hung on until 2010 when it too was lost.