Saturday, 22 July 2017

Loughborough holiday connections 2017 Part 1

Well, just returned from the annual summer holiday, which this year took a bit of a different turn.

A week booked into a cottage in St Ives, Cornwall, turned into only 5 full days, as we travelled across to Southampton for the graduation of the eldest son, and then spent 2 days discovering Dorset before returning home and discovering more about Derby and other local areas.

As ever, wherever I am, Loughborough is never far form my mind, and the less I look for, the more I find things that connect my holiday destinations with Loughborough. I've probably got enough to write a book, but I shall restrain myself and go with a short blog post! Some of the content here has already been covered in brief detail over on my #100wordsaboutloughborough page - do pop over and have a look! I'm about a third of the way through the initiative now, so need a bit of encouragement to keep going!

Setting off at just before 5am, we arrived in Penzance just before 11am. We parked in the large car park by the harbour and walked to Marazion and St Michaels Mount. Nothing to connect this to Loughborough, apart from walking next to the train line, passing a signal box, and spotting a train wash! However, when we came back towards the town centre, we spotted the lovely dome of the Lloyds Bank at the top of the street called Market Place. In reality, Lloyds of Penzance only takes up half of Market House, and is distinctive because of its lead covered dome with octagonal lantern. A quick bit of research reveals that this was a Grade I listed building when it was originally registered in 1950. Here's a snippet from the original listing description:
"1837. Architect Harris of Bristol. Large building of granite ashlar. 2 storeys. Crowned by lead-covered dome and octagonal lantern, the drum with alternating twin Tuscan columns and semi-circular headed windows, and entablature with heavy cornice. North and south elevations 9 windows, ground floor semi-circular heads, flat pilasters, 3 bay beneath dome pedimented. East end, tall Ionic tetrastyle facade. West end, central pedimented entrance, curved corner bays set back with giant engaged columns, entablature, raised pediment at centre with clock."
By contrast, our own Lloyds Bank, 37-38 High Street, is only locally listed. To my mind, it's a stunning building (I would say that, wouldn't I - leading a group of folk around our town the other day, I realised my focus is very much on banks and pubs!!)

Our Lloyds Bank is of red brick, and terracotta, the latter possibly by the Hathern Station Brick and Tile Co.. The parapet is decorated with elaborately sculpted fish, and an allegorical figure, holding in the left hand a money bag, and in the right a rolled up deed or bond. It is possible that the work is by A.E. King, a sculptor who was active between the years of 1899 and 1928. I've seen a picture of the figure from 2008, and all was well, but when I took a photograph in 2014, the left forearm and the money bag had been lost.  
Here's an extract from the local listing for our Lloyds:
"Bank & Offices Late C19/Early C20. Neoclassical/Baroque Revival. Red brick on stone plinth with expressed piers and stone string courses. Richly modelled stone embellishments include GF fascia, arched window heads with feature keystones , engaged pilasters, decorated panels between 1st and 2nd floor, cornice and upstanding parapet crowning rounded corner elevation. Pitched slate roof. 3 storeys. Generally, casement windows to GF, vertical sliding sash windows on 1st and 2nd floor. Only 2nd floor windows appear original." 
So, there were at least 60 years between the building of the Penzance bank and the Loughborough bank. A quick bit of research into Penzance reveals that the brick used in their buildings was probably of Dutch origin, as because they were a port, it was actually cheaper to buy brick in. Also, Cornish granite was not often used to build with. And, because it was a seaside resort, many of the buildings were stuccoed anyway, and apparently there was some lamenting the loss of this stucco in the 1970-1980s.

On the opposite side of the road to Lloyds Bank, at no.3 Market Place, there stands another Grade II listed building. This one was originally for the Devon and Cornwall Bank, and this can be seen on an engraved panel "D and CB" and "Est. 1832": this reminds me of our HSBC which has similar engraving on its two pillars, "1829" on one and "1893" on the other, indicating the date the original bank on this site (Middleton and Cradock) was built and the date the new bank was built.

Back to Penzance - the polished pink granite colonettes on the former Devon and Cornwall Bank are most likely to be Scottish, rather like those on the Fearon Fountain in Market Place, Loughborough.

Goodness me, so much to write, and only the end of day 1 of the holiday! This could go on for a week!

Lloyds Bank in Loughborough

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Dyer, Lynne (2017). Loughborough holiday connections. Available from: https://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2017/07/loughborough-holiday-connections-2017.html [Accessed 22 July 2017]

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