Monday, 13 July 2015

Southampton (Part 2)

After touring around the edges, it is now time to strike down the main spine of the city, north to south.

The newish construction that is Moore Blatch Solicitors sits on the junction of Bellevue Road with London Road. In terms of clock hunting, this was a classic case of making sure that you look everywhere. Walking north up London Road on the same side as the building, I was totally oblivious to the clock. It goes to show that it pays to walk both ways along, particular urban, roads.

Just to the south, where London Road meets Cumberland Place and is just about to turn into Above Bar Street (now marketed as the QE2 Mile - rather confusingly as everywhere else the city bangs on about the Titanic) is another example of a modern building with an old-fashioned style clock. This time it is the offices of Paris Smith, a big regional law firm. Is it now compulsory for legal firms to have clocks - something to do with charging by the hour perhaps?

Lets move on. The Civic Centre is the cultural heart of the city, although slightly tarnished now by part of the complex now being the O2 Guildhall, the modern extension that houses SeaCity (which bizarrely was advertising dinosaur exhibitions, dinosaurs not being renowned for their ship building expertise or sailing adventures), and I am sure that the art collection is not as big as it used to be. Although that last point may just be the Wagon Wheel phenomenon.

Anyway, Civic Centre, big clock tower. In many ways a rather silly construction, but a glorious silly construction. I mistimed my visit as in the next few weeks there are some guided tours inside the tower.

Back to the QE2 Mile, which is one of the main shopping streets - or rather the residue that hasn't been hoovered up into the West Quays shopping centre or the awful retail sheds that lie to the west of it.

This is a standard Rolex clock on the premises of Parkhouse Jewellers.

Nearby is a Rotary International clock (celebrating 100 years) on top of an advertising column.

I love this next clock on the junction with Bargate Street. The simplicity and the materials, both of the clock face and the wall it is on, just seem to be in harmony.

Just a shame it doesn't give the right time!

The Bargate shopping centre is now closed, perhaps sucked dry by the shiny new West Quays centre. Was this once a clock above its now locked doors?

And finally, something of older Southampton. This is Holy Rood church, or rather the remains of it.

The building, originally built in 1320, was severely damaged by bombing on 30 November 1940.

And so with the banging of the bells, we say goodbye to Southampton.

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