SkyscraperCity banner

321 - 340 of 549 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #322
Today for some reason I was broswing wikipedia and ended up on their page on the metro. I noticed in a extensions section this little bit:

Killingworth and Cramlington have been planned since Metro was on the drawing board but would require widening of the busy East Coast Main Line to four tracks, which would be expensive, or on a new alignment involving street running.
Now, what stands out to me is that it says this was planned since the metro was on the drawing board.... Does anyone have anything from the 'drawing board' days of the metro? Any bizzare plans which they decided against doing?

I have a lot of the original Tyneside PTE leaflets and pamphlets from the early days of the Metro planning (circa 1969 through 1971/72) and there is no mention of any plans to take the Metro to Cramlington (or even to Killingworth) that I can find.

Also, I followed the process very closely at the time, that is how come I have those papers, and I do not recall those options ever being pursued.

I have, on this forum, heard these questions and rumours mentioned, on the "Tyne & Wear Metro" thread, and my response was the same on there. I think they are just "talk" that is repeated, but there is no substance to them . . . as far as I know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,714 Posts
From the Newcastle Journal, 8 October 1957:

NEW HOTEL WILL HAVE 14 STOREYS
IT WILL BE HIGHER THAN GREY’S MONUMENT


The cattle market, two slaughter houses and plans for a helicopter station will be scrapped if proposals for a new 300-bedroom Royal Station Hotel for Newcastle are finally approved.
The 150ft.-high block - it would be taller than Grey’s Monument* - planned at the junction of Neville Street and Scotswood Road would have a restaurant and be able to cope with 1,500 non-residents.
Sixty cars could park in the forecourt and beneath the ballroom wing an underground garage could take another 140.
The scheme would be carried out with Newcastle Corporation’s proposed bus station, which would cater for 90 services compared with the present 28 services operating from Marlborough Crescent.
SUBWAY
This would have 30 departure and 12 arrival platforms.
Plans were approved in principle by the Estate and Property Committee yesterday.
The suggested suite for the bus station to the south of the proposed hotel is on land owned by the Corporation and the British Transport Commission.
Buses would enter the station from Forth Street and leave by Scotswood Road.
The main passenger approach would be by way of a subway from Neville Street to serve all the platforms.
UNDER COVER
Links between the 14-storey hotel, the station entrance and the bus station would be under cover.
The plan will mean removing the cattle market and two slaughterhouses. The committee are negotiating for a site for a new abbattoir at Paradise, South Benwell.
Committee chairman Councillor Leigh Criddle said that if the British Transport Commission were prepared to start building within a year, it would probably help the corporation to get loan sanction to go ahead with the bus station.
He added: “As far as the British Transport Commission are concerned it is a project that will go ahead straight away.”
CHANGED
Councillor Mrs Gladys Robson asked what would happen to the helicopter station which was planned with the corporation’s bus station project.
She was told that ideas had changed.
A helicopter station in a central place was no longer thought desirable.
But there was nothing to stop the corporation planning a helicopter station on the old cattle market site.

* Grey’s Monument is 133 feet high.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #324
^^

Now, that's one I hadn't heard of before! I assume you don't have the actual paper (or 'cutting' from the paper) Wilf, or you would probably have posted a scan.

I have very little from 1957 myself, but next time I'm in the City Library (or at Thomson House) I'll have to make sure I have that date with me, to see if I can see a copy, and/or print it off from the microfische, or whatever its called!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,714 Posts
^^

Now, that's one I hadn't heard of before! I assume you don't have the actual paper (or 'cutting' from the paper) Wilf, or you would probably have posted a scan.

I have very little from 1957 myself, but next time I'm in the City Library (or at Thomson House) I'll have to make sure I have that date with me, to see if I can see a copy, and/or print it off from the microfische, or whatever its called!
I do, but I'm afraid it's of such poor quality that scanning it would have resulted in something more or less illegible. Unfortunately too there wasn't any 'artist's impression' to go with the story. I also have some notes from the Town Planning Committee a bit earlier in 1956-57 where there was discussion of proposals to rebuild the Royal Station Hotel in situ, with the possibility of creating a new public square. I'll type those up when time permits*

City-centre helicopter stations seem to have been seen as the gold standard of modernity in 1950s city centre schemes - Coventry and other places had fantasies about them.

*when I can find where I put them.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #327
I do have the original newspaper, but I'm afraid it's of such poor quality that scanning it would have resulted in something more or less illegible. Unfortunately too there wasn't any 'artist's impression' to go with the story. I also have some notes from the Town Planning Committee a bit earlier in 1956-57 where there was discussion of proposals to rebuild the Royal Station Hotel in situ, with the possibility of creating a new public square. I'll type those up when time permits*

City-centre helicopter stations seem to have been seen as the gold standard of modernity in 1950s city centre schemes - Coventry and other places had fantasies about them.

Was in town with "Mrs H" today, and she went off to do her thing (!) so I was able to pop into the City Library, and had a great couple of hours searching through the Chronicles and Journals of 1957!

Some were on Microfilm, but some are available (if you ask for them) on hard-copy, though they are in very 'delicate' condition.

Found your article in the Journal of 8th October 1957 Wilf (got a copy of the Front Page too) . . .


Both the article and the front page, only available on 'Microfilm'.


and here is the same story, as it appeared in the Evening Chronicle of the same date . . .

Available in hard-copy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,714 Posts
I think I must be losing my grip. I've no idea why I said I had the original paper, as I don't; what I do have is a printout that you can make from the microfilm readers, and not a very good one! I'm intrigued to see how good your 'photos from microfilm' are, NH, and might try that, though I've only a compact camera. Still, nothing ventured...

Back to bus stations: here is a transcription of earlier report, from 1954. The original (microfilm) doers have illustrations, but my machie printout, again, was too poor quality to reproduce.

Evening Chronicle, Monday May 3 1954 pp1 & 8

HELICOPTER TERMINAL FOR CITY CENTRE

Part of £250,000 scheme for buses

By John W. Ramsey
Our Municipal Correspondent

A £250,000 scheme for a combined helicopter landing ground and bus station to replace the present bus station at Marlborough Crescent, Newcastle, was considered today by Newcastle Estate and Property Committee.
If the comprehensive scheme which has been approved by the Ministry of Transport comes to fruition, it will mean that Newcastle will have a rail, road and air terminus in the centre of the city and, according to Coun. A. Grey, chairman of the Estate and Property Committee, the “most modern bus station in Britain.”
I understand it is intended that the new bus station should be completed in two main sections over a period of years.
The proposed station is designated for what is now known as the Old Infirmary site adjacent to the Central Station.
DEAL WITH 400 BUSES AN HOUR
The committee was told that the bus station when completed would be able to deal with between 9,000 and 12,000 passengers and between 300 and 400 buses and hour. It would eventually replace the Worswick Street and Haymarket bus stations.
The estimated cost of £250,000 comprises £10,000 for clearance of the site, £65,000 for the construction of carriageways, loading platforms, etc., £75,000 for the construction of buildings, £40,000 for the construction of covered stands, £35,000 for the retaining walls, car parks and other facilities and £25,000 for contingencies.
“This is the biggest thing the committee has ever tackled,” said Coun. Grey. “Newcastle is a very important city and there is no reason why we should not take the lead in this matter.”
NEGOTIATIONS TO BUY LAND
Approximately 4.3 acres in size, the bus station will be bounded by Neville Street, Scotswood Road and Forth Street and will necessitate the closing of Railway Street.
About half the site is already in the possession of the Corporation and negotiations are proceeding for the purchase of the remainder.
The area suggested for the helicopter landing ground is at the west end of the bus station, now part of the cattle market.
The bus station plan is a complete departure from the normal conception, as it includes a large number of ancillary services such as shops, cafes, waiting rooms, left luggage offices, car park facilities and taxi ranks.
There will also be a police station.
The main entrance in Neville Street will be through a two-storey glass-roofed arcade containing the ancillary facilities.
Once they enter the bus station, passengers will be completely under cover, as all the five loading platforms will be glass-roofed. To save costs the vehicle carriageways will not be roofed.
Unlike most other bus stations, the new one has been designed so that pedestrians and vehicles will be completely segregated and passengers will not have to cross vehicle carriageways to reach particular loading platforms.
Buses will enter the station from Railway Street and leave via Scotswood Road. At the west end provision is made for long-term parking so that buses are handy when needed.
LINK WITH RAILWAY
Apart from the main entrance in Neville Street there will be minor entrances at Forth Street and Scotswood Road. There will also be a communication entrance with the Central Railway Station should British Railways deem one necessary.
Tests in co-operation with the Corporation Transport Undertaking have already been made of the traffic arrangements designed for the new station and have all proved satisfactory although a number of minor modifications to the plan were found necessary.
The committee agreed to make every effiort to bring the scheme to fruition at the earliest possible moment. It was also decided to make the model available to the British Railways Executive from whom the committee hopes to purchase part of the site required.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #329
^^

Pity this didn't go ahead really, we would probably still have had this "much improved" Marlborough Crescent Bus/Coach Station, in use today. I'm sure we would have found a use for the Helicopter Landing Ground area!

We STILL don't have the bus and coach stations situation in the City Centre properly sorted yet, have we?

Wilf, I (at first) took the '20p' prints from the Microfilm Machine, and I still have them here, but (like you) I found that they were not good enough quality to use. That's why I asked for the hard-copies to look at (which there are available for some years if you specifically ask for them) to take digital photos of.

I also took some 'digital photos from the microfilm screen' (as you say) and they came out better than the 20p printouts, every time, providing you turned off the flash on the camera!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #330 (Edited)
A vision of what might have been
May 6 2010 by Tony Henderson, The Journal



The forces which have forged how Newcastle has developed have long fascinated Mike Tilley.

But just as important have been the grand plans which were never fully carried out and would have resulted in a very different city.

Now Mike has put together an exhibition which illustrates the evolution of Newcastle, how the city could have followed other paths and what the future may hold.

The display is at Newcastle Arts Centre in Westgate Road, where Mike is director.

“It is partly about thwarted ambitions and crazy ambitions,” said Mike, who is restoring 55-57 Westgate Road, an 18th-Century building which served as Newcastle’s original Assembly Rooms.

He said: “Over the years I have come to understand that the construction of the city is subject to a chaos theory all of its own, and that few plans ever have the outcome the promoters expect.

“People of each era have shaped Newcastle and left a heritage they could not have foreseen. The Roman Wall, fort and bridge may be long gone but they still shape the plan of the city and its usage.”

Mike said that as Newcastle was redrawn by Richard Grainger, John Dobson and John Clayton in the early 19th Century, the attractive and the modern were seen as one.

“But by the 1970s modernism was perceived as uncaring and brutal. It is clear that the rush to use industrial building processes often ignored the social needs and sensitivity of the community.”

Mike said that prior to the development of Georgian Grainger Town, undertaken to demonstrate Newcastle’s wealth and power, the place had been essentially a walled medieval town.

The next driving force was the massive 19th-Century expansion of industry and population.

“A map of 1830 will show Tyneside much the same as it had been for the previous 500 years,” he said. “But each new map from 1850 charts the growth of a massive industrial and urban sprawl.”

After the Second World War came the next big wave of change for Newcastle, starting with a 1945 “brave new world” masterplan.

“Although the city had suffered comparatively little war damage, most of it was regarded as worn out and old fashioned. The plan was a fantasy to wipe away the old city,” said Mike.

1961 saw the next major blueprint for change. “Although the plan was not completed it did bring about some massive changes with very mixed results, leaving lessons to be learned and a city that survived despite misguided development and the destruction of 56 listed buildings to make way for a shopping centre.”

Although the north-south Central Motorway was built, a planned east west version never materialised.

“Much of the idealistic motivation for a new city would be lost and would be corrupted by commercial pressure,” said Mike. “There was the building of speculative office blocks that would never be used, the motorway madness, and the inward looking development of Eldon Square shopping centre that walled itself off from the rest of the city.”

Mike said that Newcastle was “very special”, with its compact city centre.

“It is a regional capital, has a great riverscape, is a tourism, shopping and commercial centre and is now being repopulated by residents.

“And its is still evolving at a rapid rate.”
 

·
Urban Environmentalist
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
^^

We STILL don't have the bus and coach stations situation in the City Centre properly sorted yet, have we?
I think the location for this should be chosen wisely. Transport infrastructure generates footfall, and there are plenty places in the city that could use it. I think the current location is a no-no as that whole triangular block could be redeveloped as a whole at some point. Plus I think it needs to be nearer a metro station, as on the few times I have used it, its been a bit of a bugger to get to.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #333 (Edited)
NH, is that you?! ;)

As it happens, no it isn't me! Though I was in touch with him about it and let him see a link to this thread. I got a brief e-mail reply . .


COPY OF E MAIL:

From: Mike Tilley
Date: 03/03/2010 11:25:59
To: [email protected]
Subject: ref your note

Many thanks for the link, some very useful images. A lot about buildings but not much about the motivation and concept of City development. Anyway I've stuck my neck out with this one but I think this project is shaping up

Best regards
Mike



Now, this thread of ours on SSC is ALL about the 'physical developments that never happened' (obvously) rather than 'motivation and concept of city development', whatever that means!

Also, on this thread we have (so far, and there is much more to be added, I'm sure) HUGE amounts of rare and not universally known 'information' (including photos, newspaper articles, plans and maps) about 'Newcastle as it Might Have been'. There is far (far) more on here than was covered at Mike's exhibition . . . so, while that "wasn't me" Anger, I do think that we could actually have done an infinitely more comprehensive exhibition, based on the content of this thread so far!

This is not me 'having a go' at Mike, I'm just saying what I think, based on the 'factual content' of this long and very detailed thread, which has (I feel) already become a 'comprehensive reference manual' on the subject!

Did anyone from on here, go to this exhibition?

I did . . . and while I enjoyed it, I only found one bit of new information/photo, that we had not already shown in the various/earlier posts of this thread.

It was actually additional info about something that we HAD already covered on here, twice. The "1945 Plans", at posts "1" and "23" (see below LINKS).

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=46683947&postcount=1
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=46901281&postcount=23

What I found (new) at Mike's exhibition, that I had NOT seen previously, was a large picture of what the 1945 proposed 'new Town Hall' was intended to look like. That new Town Hall is noted on the '1945 plan/newspaper article' at Post 1 of this thread, as being item 2 on that plan. However, it cannot be very clearly seen in that article. A better look at the scale, shape and location of it can be seen on the 'map' at Post 23, but still you get no real idea what it would have looked like.

This, we can now see (from this photo from the exhibition) is what it was to look like . . .


Interestingly, the location is pretty much exactly where the 1960s Civic Centre was eventually built!


Two other photos taken at the exhibition, are below. I only took three quick snaps, as while it didn't say "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" anywhere, I didn't want to 'take a lend', as they say . .




The above 'ideas' for the Swan House area, were issued roughly around the same time as the "Swan House Luxury Hotel" plans, we featured earlier in this thread.



.
 

·
cogito ergo sum
Joined
·
1,619 Posts
Glad I went - an interesting collection of images.
Perhaps I'd been aware of most of these proposals in some form or other, but the sheer scale of the 1950's "visions" for urban modernisation is staggering.

The replacement of virtually ALL buildings in the City Centre (incl Grey Street) with stalinist/soviet blocks and towers probably fulfiilled the expectation of the time. But it does underline just how relative concepts such as "conservation" and "heritage" are. One person's valuable history is another person's not-fit-for-purpose obstacle. And I guess it will always be thus.

So now I'm immunised against anything that any developer (or planner) could do!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #335 (Edited)
.
Re the "1979 St Mary's Cathedral Piazza" proposals that never happened (HERE) . . .
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=55676397&postcount=330


Interesting to note that the piazza option was "all steps" - no notions of disability access, even as recently as 1979! How times change, and in the case of access for all, much for the better (I'm presuming there is a ramp to Cardinal Bas round the side, behind the red minicab).

Yes, access from the pavement, as shown in this photo . .

 

·
King of Bernicia
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
Darn wheelchair users. I long for the invention of some sort of mini AT-ST for them so buildings can get back to looking all cooly and steppy again.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #337
New Hotel for Newcastle Airport - 1988 Style.
At a time when we are STILL waiting (in May 2010) for the new Airport Hotel to open, here is a planned large Hotel & Conference Centre
for the Airport, from the 1980s, THAT NEVER HAPPENED . . .



 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #338 (Edited)
Do you recognise . . .
The Newcastle Metro Radio Arena?

Well, maybe you do, but (as can be seen below) originally it was going to be built IN A VERY DIFFERENT PLACE . . .





The above plans were as envisaged in 1992, and two years later the 'Arena' was still just a dream, but by then the planned location had changed to a more familiar one! Meanwhile, Sir John Hall was still planning to build a "rival arena" at the location where the Newcastle Arena was originally intended to be built . .

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #339
^^

Now, that was quite a surprise (no responses on that one) I honestly didn't think it was generally known that the Metro Radio Arena was originally intended to be built in Leazes Park!!

Anyway, on a similar theme, along with 'the Arena' and the 'John Hall Arena' (in the 1990s) in the 1980s a third big arena was planned to be built in Newcastle, it seems . . .


Mail on Sunday, April 9th 1989.
 
321 - 340 of 549 Posts
Top