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  #1  
Old 10.09.2011, 13:29
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It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

"I can go to the shops and never have to cross a road."

This video, produced by the Stevenage Development Corporation in 1971, is by turns hilarious and thoroughly depressing. Those tower blocks, shopping centres and road subways (underpasses) were built with such good intentions, weren't they? Hindsight is a wonderful thing...

The rot began with Kum-ba-yah.
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Old 10.09.2011, 15:45
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

Exactly like the opening sequence of The Full Monty (the Sheffield promotion film from 1971). Exactly like the communist propaganda, which I still remember.
Thank God we live in harmony with nature in Switzerland.
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Old 10.09.2011, 17:47
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

Oh my God! Everything there sounded like the communist propaganda...



here some more..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=lfvBJu3-o3I
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Old 10.09.2011, 17:49
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

Even back then it was all about the shops....

Did anyone else notice that ancient man wanted to retire at 65? He looked like he was 80.
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Old 10.09.2011, 20:59
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

Do you think Mr Cock at 9mins 22seconds existed?
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Old 10.09.2011, 21:12
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

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Do you think Mr Cock at 9mins 22seconds existed?
minute 9... didn't get that far!
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Old 10.09.2011, 21:30
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

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minute 9... didn't get that far!
I had some time to waste
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Old 10.09.2011, 21:34
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

That immediately made me think of Pruit-Igoe. Same architect as the World Trade center. Award winning.



and the Soviet panelak towns in Eastern Europe

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Old 10.09.2011, 22:02
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

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Do you think Mr Cock at 9mins 22seconds existed?
So I didn't imagine it!

I don't know whether or not I should be relieved...
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Old 10.09.2011, 22:35
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

3:23 onwards

"We cater for....any sort of activity...which arises out of the young people's minds"....

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Old 10.09.2011, 22:35
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

Never trust anything that smacks of a town planner's "Grand Design." In all these places - Redditch, Milton Keynes, Skelmersdale, Harlow, Telford etc there's something missing - they all lack a soul.

Whether it's Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne. Or York, Hereford, Norwich. Or any one of the tens of thousands of villages spangled across Europe. They all grew up around something. And that something wasn't a pedestrianized shopping centre. That something was a place of worship.

Town planning all started to go wrong with the separation of Church and State. That's when the rot set in
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Old 10.09.2011, 22:45
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

Interesting. I lived in Stevenage old town in the 1950's when the new town was being laid out.
Endless rows of new houses appeared, almost overnight, on un-made-up roads, which quickly turned into mud-baths, with no street-lighting and no public transport.
The schools, shops, and medical facilities of the old town were very soon overwhelmed with disappointed displaced people who had been lured from London with the promise of a 'better life' which at that time certainly didn't exist in Stevenage new town.
Most of the poor devils had sold everything to live 'the dream', which undoubtedly turned into a nightmare for the majority of them.
I haven't been back there since 1955, and it doesn't look like I missed out on much.
I wonder what it looks like now, but I certainly won't be visiting any time soon
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Old 10.09.2011, 22:48
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

Actually, quite a few villages grew up around a muddy paddock where people met to exchange items of produce ... so, the modern version being a pedestrianised shopping centre seems to fit.

Quote:
The rot began with Kum-ba-yah.
Careful DB - I have video footage of you singing that song ... with a minor!

Also, I have moved house since you last met me, and saved multiple copies of said footage.

No, I will not post it up here, in order to protect said minor.
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Old 10.09.2011, 22:49
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

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Never trust anything that smacks of a town planner's "Grand Design." In all these places - Redditch, Milton Keynes, Skelmersdale, Harlow, Telford etc there's something missing - they all lack a soul.

Whether it's Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne. Or York, Hereford, Norwich. Or any one of the tens of thousands of villages spangled across Europe. They all grew up around something. And that something wasn't a pedestrianized shopping centre. That something was a place of worship.

Town planning all started to go wrong with the separation of Church and State. That's when the rot set in

I'll take your last sentence with a pinch of salt. Are you aware that Norwich, for example, as well as having a particularly large Cathedral (two cathedrals actually) also has a large castle which is located pretty much slap bang in the middle?
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Old 10.09.2011, 23:12
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

Araqyl: I have no recollection of said event, but I understand (from reading Graham Greene) that every man has his price.

So: how much?
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Old 10.09.2011, 23:20
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

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Araqyl: I have no recollection of said event, but I understand (from reading Graham Greene) that every man has his price.

So: how much?
That may need to be discussed in a place of worship, to bring the incident (and its resolution!) under the eye of God ...
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Old 10.09.2011, 23:21
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

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I'll take your last sentence with a pinch of salt.
The was a giveaway then.

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Are you aware that Norwich, for example, as well as having a particularly large Cathedral (two cathedrals actually) also has a large castle which is located pretty much slap bang in the middle?
Yup. The first thing the feudal top dog did was build his castle. Then he built his church. That was the way he controlled his peasants. The Church's sway was absolute.

Life was so $hit the average peasant couldn't give a toss about underpasses or ring roads. But at least the church guaranteed of a decent life in eternity. Something modern town planners have sadly missed.
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Old 11.09.2011, 01:39
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

"Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else."

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

It's one of my favourite books: couldn't resist quoting...

The topic of this thread is somewhat mysterious, isn't it?
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Old 15.09.2011, 12:10
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

The good folk of Dorchester (County town of Dorset in southern UK) have a decent heritage,
http://www.google.ch/search?tbm=isch...1880l3-3.2l5l0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_from_the_Madding_Crowd

But then along came the deputy monarch, who lives in quaint old castles & palaces, and decided the good folk needed more of his taste. The deputy monarch chose the architects, and ignored the outcry of those talented architects whom were not chosen, and produced Poundbury.

http://maps.google.ch/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

http://www.google.ch/search?tbm=isch...w=1224&bih=588

The good folk are more than a little bit upset when viewing this reproduction town, when they might have had something a bit more up to date, if Charles had kept his conk out of it!
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:43
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Re: It all seemed like such a good idea at the time... (Stevenage, 1971)

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The good folk of Dorchester (County town of Dorset in southern UK) have a decent heritage,
http://www.google.ch/search?tbm=isch...1880l3-3.2l5l0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_from_the_Madding_Crowd

But then along came the deputy monarch, who lives in quaint old castles & palaces, and decided the good folk needed more of his taste. The deputy monarch chose the architects, and ignored the outcry of those talented architects whom were not chosen, and produced Poundbury.

http://maps.google.ch/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

http://www.google.ch/search?tbm=isch...w=1224&bih=588

The good folk are more than a little bit upset when viewing this reproduction town, when they might have had something a bit more up to date, if Charles had kept his conk out of it!
Funnily enough my mate who lives there loves it and so do other people. I also don't like the idea of building new "old" buildings but you can't say it hasn't worked.
Poundbury or Milton Keynes?
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