Posts Tagged ‘City Golf Club’

1987 – Around Fleet St

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Dorset Rise, City, 1987 87-10m-66-positive_2400
Dorset Rise, City, 1987

Dorset Rise runs up from Tudor St towards Fleet Street, changing its name further up to Salisbury Court and lies at what was the heart of the newspaper industry in ‘Fleet St’. This building at 1-2 Dorset Rise dates from the 1930s and was reclad around 1985. In 2012-3 it was converted into a Premier Inn hotel.

Dorset Rise, City, 1987 87-10m-56-positive_2400
Dorset Rise, City, 1987

3 Dorset Rise is a high quality 10 storey office building, sometimes said to have been built in 1985 but probably dating from the 1930s and like the hotel at 1-2 given a new shiny pink brown granite facing in that year. I am unsure if the deco touches at the top of these blocks date from the 1930s or were added in 1985.

Kingscote St, City, 1987 87-10m-44-positive_2400
Kingscote St, City, 1987

I had forgotten where Kingscote St is and had to look for it on Google Maps. Its a short street, around 50 metres long, between Watergate and Tudor St, a short distance west of New Bridge St. One side is occupied by a hotel and the other by a large shared office building. I think this doorway, now slightly altered was at the rear of 100 Victoria Embankment, better known as Unilever House, where Watergate meets Kingscote but if so the sculpture I photographed has gone.

Blackfriars House, New Bridge St,  City, 1987 87-10m-33-positive_2400
Blackfriars House, New Bridge St, City, 1987

Blackfriars House on New Bridge St is a rather dull building with some fine detail and perhaps surprisingly is Grade II listed, the text beginning “1913-16 by F. W. Troup. Steel-framed commercial building with white majolica facing. 7 storeys, the rectilinear structural grid expressed in the facade which is, however, divided in a classically-derived manner.” My picture I think makes it look a far more interesting building than it really is. It is now a hotel.

The Blackfriar, New Bridge St, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987 87-10m-31-positive_2400
The Blackfriar, New Bridge St, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987

The Blackfriar is a fine pub built around 1875 on the corner of Queen Victoria St, part of the site of a former friary. But it only got the decoration which gave rise to its Grade II* listing in the early years of the twentieth century, beginning in 1905, with work by architect Herbert Fuller-Clark and sculptors Frederick T. Callcott & Henry Poole. Sir John Betjeman led a campaign to save it from demolition in the 1960s and CAMRA has published a couple of books about historic pub interiors which feature it.

I think the huge and extremely boring block of the Bank of New York Mellon at 160 Queen Victoria St now blocks this view of St Paul’s Cathedral. It might be possible, but difficult to design a building of less architectural merit.

City Golf Club, Bride Lane, City, 1987 87-10m-25-positive_2400
City Golf Club, Bride Lane, City, 1987

I don’t think any golf was ever played at the City Golf Club and there were never any balls on the fairway in its left-hand window. The two people standing talking in its doorway are I think clearly employees rather than golfers. The Golf Club in Bride Lane a few yards from Fleet St was a members only drinking club much frequented by journalists at a time when pubs closed in the afternoons.

Daily Telegraph, Fleet St, City, 1987 87-10m-13-positive_2400
Daily Telegraph, Fleet St, City, 1987

Perhaps surprisingly the Daily Telegraph building dates from only 4 years before its near neighbour at the Daily Express. The Telegraph building has some Art Deco touches with Egyptian decorations which accord with its date of 1928, designed by Elcock C Sutcliffe with Thomas Tait, but seems rather old-fashioned and staid, with a monumental colonnade perhaps in keeping with its assumed gravitas, but seems to me despite its decorations a decidedly Edwardian building. Pevsner gave it a one of his more scathing reviews, “neo-Greco-Egyptian imitation has turned modernist, with much fluting, fancy iron-work and little to recommend it”. It was Grade II listed in 1983.

Probably my reason for photographing this building was that the Daily Telegraph had just moved out to offices in Victoria – and you can see the boards up in front of its ground floor as it was being made ready for occupation by investment bankers Goldman Sachs on lease until 2021. They moved to Plumtree Court in nearby Shoe Lane and the property, now owned by Qatar, is being again revamped.

Daily Express, Fleet St, City, 1987 87-10m-11-positive_2400
Daily Express, Fleet St, City, 1987

The Daily Express had moved to their new building designed by Ellis and Clarke with Sir Owen Williams, very much in the modern movement of the age in 1931. It was the first London building where the outer wall was a non-structural ‘curtain wall’ and was Grade II* listed in 1972. Like its similar offices in Manchester it was known as the Black Lubyanka. When I made this picture in 1987 the newspaper was still produced here, moving out two years later in 1989 across the Thames to Blackfriars Rd. It came back to the City in Lower Thames St in 2004.

These pictures are from Page 7 of my album 1987 London Photos.