Art Deco Favourites

Hucknall Cinemas

At present Hucknall no longer has a functioning cinema. It has a structure which was built as a cinema but is currently barely surviving as a Bingo Hall on the ground floor.

But once there were two ...........


Byron Cinema Bingo sign

It was purpose built in 1936 and the architect was local specialist Alfred J Thraves. The picture house was named after the world famous and infamous but august Lord Byron!

(Photograph of the Byron Bingo column courtesy of G Barr)

Wiki entry here


Scala Cinela front entrance

The Scala was a much earlier picture palace despite its more obvious Streamline Moderne frontage. It is known that the cinema was renamed in 1914 and temporarily closed in 1930 for 'sound' to be installed. It is likely theowners took advantage of the closure to modernised the front at around the same time.

Despite its superior external architectural design the Scala was demolished and disappeared from the Hucknall landscape in 2008.

(Image of the Scala courtesy of postcard reproduced in the Hucknall Dispatch)

Happy Days with Hopalong Cassidy

NOSTALGIA raised a lump in my throat the other day as I saw the last wall of the old Scala Cinema on Annesley Road in Hucknall crash to the ground under the tracks of a giant bulldozer.

I remembered, so vividly, what a great part this old building had played in my childhood years.

My mind flashed back to those poverty-stricken, albeit happy, years of the 1930s when my hard-earned twopence spending-money, clutched in an excited, sweaty little hand, was handed over at the Scala's Saturday 'Twopenny Rush' film show.

My chums and I cheered the heroes and booed the villains in the exciting cowboy-and-Indian pictures. And I remember when Hopalong Cassidy was quicker on the draw than the villains and his old sidekick, Gabby Hayes, who could drown beetles from his baccy-chewing jaws.

Tom Mix was another boyhood cowboy hero who, no doubt, taught us kids right from wrong with his clean living and honest roles. It was a time when good always defeated evil and was an object lesson for us all to follow.

I hope there are still some other Dispatch readers who remember those happy childhood days, which I shall always remember with affection. I felt I had to make some comment over the Scala's passing.

MR W.Teece, Greenwood Avenue, Hucknall

A campaign, to restore the Byron as a cinema, by local enthusiasts 'The Byron Community Project' has begun.

FB pages here and website here

Reunited one last time - six of Britain's greatest steam engines including world record holder Mallard and its five surviving sister locomotives

 - Six A4 class locomotive brought together to celebrate Mallard's steam speed world record 75 years ago

- Mallard reached 126mph on the East Coast line near Peterborough in 1938, a record which still stands

- More than 50,000 people have so far visited the six engines which are at the National Railway Museum

- Other engines are Sir Nigel Gresley, Union of South Africa, Bittern, Dominion of Canada and Dwight D. Eisenhower

Nicknamed Streaks due to their speed and sleek lines, they were the pride of Britain’s railways. The A4 class locomotives were built in the Thirties to haul the fastest express passenger trains from London to York, Newcastle and Edinburgh. With their revolutionary design inspired by Bugatti race cars, they were the first of their kind to speed along the tracks at 90 to 100mph, 25mph faster than their predecessors. In their heyday, it was every schoolboy’s dream to drive one — and they still evoke all the romance of the golden age of steam, when British still meant best. Now the last remaining six have been reunited for one final time.

Among them is the legendary Mallard, which still holds the record for the fastest steam locomotive in the world after hitting 126mph at Stoke Bank, near Grantham on the East Coast main  line in 1938 — a record that’s unlikely ever to be beaten. The attempt was set up amid great secrecy, not only because the Germans had achieved over 120mph, but also because rival companies in Britain could have stolen a march on the daring record bid. It was driven that day by Joseph Duddington, 61, assisted by fireman Thomas Bray, whose back-breaking job it was to shovel tons of coal into the white-heat firebox as the rocking train hurtled down the track.

The 75th anniversary of that epic event, in July last year, triggered the bringing together of the six locos. They are the only surviving examples of the 35 of their kind that were designed by genius Sir Nigel Gresley for the London & North Eastern Railway and which marked the zenith of British locomotive building. Polished, oiled and gleaming, the six 100-ton steam locos have been lined up side by side for a week-long display named the Great Goodbye at the National Railway Museum’s site at Shildon, Co. Durham. Two — Dwight D. Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada — were brought over from museums on the other side of the Atlantic for the reunion, which is attracting tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Like Mallard, which is part of Britain’s National Railway Museum collection, those two are no longer in running order, but merely exhibited in gleaming condition.

But the other three — Bittern, Sir Nigel Gresley and Union of South Africa, owned by separate rail enthusiasts — still earn a living hauling steam charters on the main line. Anthony Coulls, senior curator of rail vehicle collections at the museum, said: ‘These locos were built to create an impression and they definitely still do! The drivers were the fastest men on earth — the Formula 1 drivers or airline pilots of their day.  ‘These were prestige trains and to be in charge of one was exciting and glamorous.’ The design was a massive success in public relations terms — the public adored them. One of the A4s — fuelled by up to seven tons of coal — could race between London and Edinburgh, picking up water on the move from long troughs laid between the rails.  Because the work of the two men of the footplate — the driver and fireman — was so arduous, Gresley designed a tiny corridor through the tender that would allow a relief crew to take over on the move.

Soon after Mallard’s record-breaking run — which left the workings of the thrashed loco needing some repair — World War II would put an end to the most glamorous era on British railways, with the glorious Streaks stripped of some of their streamlining for the duration and plodding along at more pedestrian speeds, their paintwork stained and dirty. Gresley’s hopes of even higher speeds — 130mph was thought possible — went unfulfilled. Then diesel and electric locos took over from the Fifties and today reach the once amazing speed of 125mph on a daily basis. But most railwaymen admit today’s trains lack the glamour and looks of the Streaks. And yesterday, the surviving A4s were back at their gleaming best. Among the visitors was one Mallard David Elcoat — who was born in 1951 and named after the locomotive. His father was not only a railway enthusiast, but also a loco driver with the rival London Midland & Scottish railway. The museum has copied his birth certificate for their records. A one enthusiast said: ‘These locos were just superb, and still are. After all, you can’t imagine some-one naming their child after a diesel, can you?’

Reunited - the Mallard and her 5 sisters:

RV Kalakala

RV Kalakala

The RV Kalakala in full steam









Why Art Deco?

Why not? The imagery and innovative style of the period really appeals to me!

New Year Clock Art Deco Style

What nicer way to greet someone in the New Year or to this page? - Welcome

Spider Web Perfume Bottle Czech origins

Spiders Web Perfume Bottle by Heinrich Hoffman - Czech origins - who wouldn't want one to grace their home?

There's something about the shapes used during this period that really appeals and the use of eau-de-nil complemented in a range of colours in the pink and purple domain makes it the perfect combination for me.

Floral Art Deco Design compining greens and purples

I actually found this page on my web-site by doing a search on something completely different - that was a little spooky I have to say but I'm glad I came across it because I found a spelling error which I have now rectified!

Paris - 1937 Exposition

Expo Collage Getty

International Exhibition, May to November', 1937. From The Sphere - Coronation Record Number. (The Sphere, London, 1937). © Getty Images

The GB Pavilion showcased the work of Oliver Hill and his team of the two Erics Gill and Ravilious and Marion Dorn with whom he had collaborated with on the Midland Hotel and other projects. Eric Gill created the font type for the London Underground and Ravilious interest in tennis made the sport so prominent in the pavilion created for the Paris 1937 Expo. All Pavilions are featured in the Section Etrangéres programme here


Transport Poster Bright Hours

London Transport produced some remarkable artwork during the 1930s - this is a particularly interesting example, designed in 1931 by an unknown american artist. It advocates travelling on the underground during the 'Bright Hours'. The poster was recently sold at auction for £14,400.00.

Poster claiming underground train every 90 seconds

This London Transport poster was designed by Abram Games in 1937. London Transport's logo appeared not only on signs and leaflets, but also in many creative publicity poster designs.

London Underground

With thanks - of course to Eric Gill

Gill's Sketch for what would become the London Underground Logo remaining unchanged and being globally instantly recognisable

And some background history relating to the Underground sign

Mornington Crescent Tube Sign

A lovely example of the finished product - underground station is opposite the Black Cat Factory

The Coronation Scot, Silver Jubilee and Mallard

As I was searching transport details I found The Coronation Scot. I didn't know this existed although I have always been a big fan of the shiny blue Mallard. Thanks to the National Railway Museum Blog for an excellent insight. As with London Transport all the train artwork is so inviting!

The Coronation Scot Train

The Coronation Scot Train The Silver Jubilee TrainThe Mallard Train

From l to r images of The Cormonation Scot, Silver Jubilee and the Mallard trains

London to Glasgow in six and a half hours

An image from 1937 for the Coronation Scot

Reunited one last time - six of Britain's greatest steam engines

The Daily Mail dated 20th February 2014 carries a piece paying homage to these superbly designed steam engines:

Original Mallard on the tracks

World beater: The Mallard pictured in 1938 as it was about to start its record-breaking run along the East Coast Mainline when it hit 126mph - images courtesy and copyright of North News & Pictures Ltd.

Six Mallards in a row

As well as Mallard, the six include Sir Nigel Gresley - named after the designer - Union of South Africa, Bittern, Dominion of Canada and Dwight D. Eisenhower - images courtesy and copyright of North News & Pictures Ltd.

Mallards Close-up

The world's fastest steam locomotive, Mallard (far right) and six of her sister trains were gathered in Shildon, County Durham, yesterday - images courtesy and copyright of North News & Pictures Ltd.

Kalakala (The Flying Bird) 1934-2015

The Kalakala Publicity Poster

The world's first streamlined vessel - now another icon lost forever!

A comprehensive history can be found on a dedicated web-site here and promotional postcards here dedicated page here

The Orient Express Renaissance

Modern Poster for the orient express

Keeping the luxury alive in this modern poster for the revitalised Orient Express

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Page updated : 13th December 2016