Saturday 20 August 2011

Gone forever

Across our land, in our cities, towns, and even villages are monuments to a forgotten age.  Temples to commerce, business, banking and insurance, built by our Victorian and Edwardian forefathers.
These monolith giants gaze down on us as we rush around below, visiting the bistros, coffee houses, and boutiques.
They stand testament to a lost world, where they are long forgotten. However, look skywards and see their names forever etched, carved or painted on stone and brick.
During the Victorian/Edwardian eras and even up until fairly recently the Post Office was a central building in every town and city.  
This Co-operative Store is now a restaurant downstairs and The Youth Hostel Association upstairs - the carved stone between the upstairs windows shows the Co-op Bee Hive dated 1887 - the symbol of thrifty saving. Perhaps we should follow in the footsteps of our Victorian ancestors and save more. 
This is the Refuge Assurance building, a name long forgotten.
The poster in the window would suggest a new form of refuge!!!
I have no recollection of this banking company


  1. My favourite kind of post, Rosemary: making such wonderful links with what we see around us. I couldn't resist looking up the final bank: it amalgamated with another in 1898, so that inscription ahs been defunct for more than a century. Fascinating. Must remember to look up this week during our holiday on the South Coast...who knows what we may find?

  2. Dear Kate that is so interesting. Why didn't I think to do that? Its no wonder I had never heard of it.

  3. What strikes me about this posting is that the 19th century companies built such structures with the seeming assurance that they would be in business forever. On the other hand, it seems as though today's stores (especially at malls) go up with as much certainty of an eventual dismantling. But then we live in a disposable age and are discovering how quickly even global companies can disappear!

  4. Mark - your contrasting then and now is so appropriate. Today's structures are largely ephemeral.

  5. Hello Rosemary:
    A most interesting post.These architectural gems can be spotted in so many cities throughout the length and breadth of Britain but this is a timely reminder to us all to look up and actually see them andappreciate them. these Victorian and Edwardian buildings were built with such bravura and, certainly, optimism, which sadly,so few modern counterparts can match.

    And, thank you Rosemary for your incredibly kind comment on Magnon's post. We have to say that we did not really find it at all amusing.

  6. Dear Jane & Lance - In most of our towns it pays to look up, there are so many architectural gems that we do not see otherwise - pleased that you found it interesting.
    Re: Magnon - I am sure he did not been to upset you, that is one of the strange things about the internet. You are not talking face to face and sometimes things come over in the wrong manner.
    I made a comment to a person on their blog, which was meant for her only in her situation, and someone else who read it took offence. What she said upset me, and in fact the upset lasted for quite a while.

  7. What a delightful post! Whenever I go into town I always take care to ignore the ugly plastic shop fronts and look up. I’ve found old ports often have some incredible architecture hidden about their place!


  8. Hello Bertie - Thank you for your encouragement and also for becoming a follower. I am very happy to return the compliment by following your stunning blog. Hidcote is one of my favourite places.

  9. Hello Rosemary - not at all! If you are ever Hidcote bound do get in touch so we can say hello!



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