Sunday, 17 May 2020

Worcester (Part 3)

This is the third and final part of our visit to Worcester.

This is the former church of St Nicholas on The Cross. Built in 1730 - 35, it became redundant in 1989 and is now a branch of Slug and Lettuce.

To it s credit, the new occupier's marks are quite minimal on the facade, helped no doubt by the building's Grade II listing.

We first encountered St Swithun's in Part 1, with the restricted view from the High Street. Coming round to the Mealcheapen Street end of the building we get a much better view and a more ornate clock face surround.

A clock that is more hidden away is this one in Reindeer Court, illustrating the fact that to find all of the clocks you have to walk all of the streets.

The buildings date from the 16th century, with later additions and alterations. Originally a shop with house and stable, it became an inn and is now a series of shops.

The Fownes Hotel stands on City Walls Road, which is the A38 dual carriageway running alongside, yes you guessed it, the city walls.

This huge building was constructed in 1882 - 83 for the manufacture of gloves. A one-time key local industry, there were once 150 glove works in the city. Production at this site closed in 1973, and in 1985 it was transformed into a hotel.

Construction of Worcester Cathedral began in 1084. The clock inside is a bit more recent, dating from 1869. It was manufactured by Joyce of Whitchurch.

As well as gloves, Worcester became know for its Worcestershire sauce. Lea & Perrins has produced this commodity at is factory on Midland Road since 1897.

Just four more clocks in Worcester to visit (although as always if you know of any others that I haven't covered please let me know). First of the quartet is a nice modern clock on the St Dunstan's building of the Heart of Worcestershire College on The Butts.

I am always a fine of this simplistic style of clock when it is set on a modern plain building. It is also set such that it can be seen from a long distance and from many viewpoints, something which can be missing from many recent installations.

More traditional in style is this example at St Clements on Henwick Road. The church was completed in 1823, with an extension in 1879.

There is often a surprise clock in every town and city that you visit. Just when you think you have covered every possible example in the central area, you look up and see one that you must have walked passed several times already or you walk along a street that you have somehow avoided to date. Such a moment at Worcester came at the Crowngate Shopping Centre at its Broad Street entrance.

Lurking inside is a modern, minimalist clock - just two hands and four dashes.

And so finally we arrive at the railway station (Shrub Hill that is) to take the train home.

Here we have a good old no-nonsense railway clock, with Arabic numerals and the 24 hour system also indicated. There is no excuse for missing your train, whether it is at 11.25 or 23.25 hrs.

If you do have a bit of time to wait, check out the semaphore signals which are in contrast to the new GWR trains.

And that concludes our tour of the clocks of Worcester.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Worcester (Part 2)

Part 1 of our tour of Worcester clocks ended up in the Crowngate Shopping Centre. And we start Part 2 underneath the shopping centre, where the bus station has been shoved out of the way. This is not a pleasant environment to wait for a bus, and gives the impression that Worcester does not care about public transport.

In the gloom we can just about make out a token clock. I might have been able to get some better pictures, but quite frankly I wasn't going to hang around to try.

Instead, lets get some fresh air and some fields. This is the view out of window of the Premier Inn hotel, which has been built as part of the building of the Worcestershire County Cricket Club, which has had its home in New Road since 1896. It is slightly odd looking out of the windows of a hotel bar / dining area on to a cricket pitch, and even odder when the only cricket going on was on the television, where England were winning the World Cup by some bizarre process, where the rules seem to be made up on the spot.

Look closely at the photograph above and you will spot the clock.

Next to the cricket ground are some playing fields, which have more pavilions and more clocks.

Moving further away from the city centre we come across the church of St John in Bedwardine.

The church has parts dating back to the 12th century, subsequent additions and then various re-builds during the 19th century. The usual story. The tower, on which the clock sits, was added in 1481, and its spire is its second version after the original was destroyed in the Civil War.

The clock itself is by Joyce of Whitchurch.

Taking an about turn and heading back to the city centre, we pass through Cripplegate Park, with its magnificent ceramic fountain and this bowling green pavilion.

The clock bears the name of J W Cassidy & Sons, who appear to be a jewellers based in the High Street. Company records show that the firm was incorporated in 1925 but is no longer trading.

From a modest pavilion to a huge brick tower. This building on Castle Street is now part of the University of Worcester, but the name Austin House gives a clue that this was one a large car dealership operated by H A Saunders.

It was built in 1938-39 on the site of Worcester prison, and is now Grade II listed. Credit to the university that this is looking in fine shape.

We are now out along the A38 Barbourne Road at St George's Square, which gives a magnificent long vista to the church of the same name.

St George's was built in 1893-95 and was designed by Aston Webb, who had the largest architectural practice in the country and is more famous for his work on the V&A, Buckingham Palace and Admiralty Arch in London and the clock tower at Birmingham University.

Another church now, or at least a building that originally operated as a church.

The former Church of St Mary Magdelene sits on the junction of Sansome Walk and Northfield Street. It was built in 1876-77, with the tower added in 1889. It became redundant as a church in 1978, and has been converted into 30 flats.

Our final call in Part 2 is at the Victoria Institute on Foregate Street.

The Institute houses the museum and art gallery, and was constructed in 1894 - 96.

Part 3 now awaits.