Monday, January 14, 2008

Great Malvern, Worcestershire

This surprise is in the Barnard’s Green area of Malvern, standing proudly at a road junction from where you take your choice of Malvern’s attractions – the lovely Victorian railway station, the town centre, the stately and all-commanding hills. The little building is not the thing one expects in this elegant English town, a place in so many ways redolent of the age of Queen Victoria or of Edward Elgar. Malvern is all wells, Victorian hotels, and opulent villas behind conifers and laurel bushes.

But not quite all. Meet the modernist war memorial bus shelter and clock tower of Barnard’s Green. I don’t know much about this building. It has a British Legion plaque on it and is in a 1930s modernist style that recalls seaside pavilions. There’s a neat clock, some masonry fins, an overhanging flat roof typical of the style, and seats inside, occupied the day I was there by a group of gentlemen somewhat the worse for drink who shuffled into the shadows when I got my camera out.
Best of all are the war memorial poppies that adorn the end panels around the outside of the little building. Buildings in this idiom aren’t normally allowed floral ornament, but this is different, of course. The poppies give us all the message we need.

1 comment:

Peter Ashley said...

The building shape is very redolent of Leicester City Corporation bus shelters from the thirties, when this once great city had civic pride by the bus load.