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Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Trellick Tower
   

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As a result of the destruction wrought during World War II, the necessary large-scale re-building of London provided city planners with an unparalleled opportunity for remodelling. Following the end of The Blitz, various planners had put forward their regenerative proposals, the most notable of whom was probably Patrick Abercrombie. He saw the need for a balance between industrial applications, green spaces and social housing, as seen in the post-war developments of Brixton's Loughborough Estate and the Lansbury Estate in the Poplar area, and strongly featured the concept of 'high rise' tower block communities as a solution to the provision of accommodation for an expanding population. The concept of a 'Green Belt' was also clearly defined in his 'County of London Plan', which he envisaged as being a band of farmland, parks and recreation areas that would encircle the capital and be subject to a much stricter regulation of construction and development than previously. As a counterbalance, to provide for expected expansion, Abercrombie's plan also proposed the creation of a number of 'New Towns' around the capital, outside of the 'Green Belt'.

In 1945 Lord Reith of Stonehaven was appointed as chairman of the government-sponsored 'New Towns Committee' that concurred with Abercrombie's vision, leading to The New Towns Act 1946 that allowed the government to designate areas as new towns and pass control of the development functions to a Development Corporation. In the following years, eight areas were designated as 'New Towns', undergoing large-scale expansion and redevelopment. These were: Basildon (Essex), Bracknell (Berks), Harlow (Essex), Hatfield (Herts), Hemel Hempstead (Herts), Letchworth Garden City (Herts), Stevenage (Herts) and Welwyn Garden City (Herts). The Act was replaced by the New Towns Act 1965 and, later, the New Towns Act 1981.


Barbican Cromwell Tower   The first 10-storey building containing council housing opened in Holborn during May 1949 and, by the Sixties, more than half a million new flats had been built, a great many of them as 'high rise' tower blocks. The Corporation of London had to deal with the reconstruction of the inner city, particularly the area between Aldersgate and Moorgate that had been destroyed in a single night's bombing on 29th December 1940, and came up with The Barbican, designed to incorporate water gardens, housing and a school as well as office blocks, a city museum and an arts centre.

Chamberlin Powell and Bon were probably responsible for redesigning more of post-WWII London than any other architectural practice as they were responsible for The Barbican Estate and the Golden Lane Estate. The Barbican was a major undertaking and, at the time, was Europe's largest reconstruction project, although not exactly 'social housing'. The new facilities were officially opened in 1969 but weren't fully completed until 1976. The estate contains three of London's tallest residential towers, at 42 storeys and 404 ft. These are: Cromwell Tower, completed in 1973; Lauderdale Tower, completed in 1974 and Shakespeare Tower, completed in 1976.

Love it or loathe it, there is no doubt that the high rise, high density crusade for function and form that was Sixties architecture made a significant impression on the post-war British skyline and landscape. The style of architecture that we generally associate with the Sixties was actually a later extension of the Bauhaus-inspired 'modernist' movement of three decades earlier. The original architectural mainstay of this movement was not British, but a Swiss architect named Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, better known in the design world simply as 'Le Corbusier', who was also known as a painter, writer, sculptor, furniture designer and urban planner.

Due to the accelerating spread in land use and city redevelopment, urban planning became much more structured during the 20th century and the 1933 meeting of the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM) established what eventually became the Athens Charter, which laid down the basic concepts and shaped the large majority of urban planning practices for the Fifties and Sixties.

The ultimate realisation of this was seen in the latter part of the 1950s when a completely new capital city was built in Brazil, called Brasilia, a futuristic development planned and developed in 1956 with Lúcio Costa as the principal urban planner, Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect and Roberto Burle Marx as the landscape designer. The city with its airplane-like shape was inaugurated in April 1960.
Barbican Lauderdale Tower

The regeneration of war-damaged Britain required fast, simple, comparatively cheap construction and was a major factor in driving the advancement of building material technology and design, particularly in the use of 'new' materials such as aluminium. The demand for rapid building of smaller structures during the war and 'temporary' new housing immediately afterwards resulted in many forms of smaller prefabricated building such as the semi-circular metal Nissen hut of earlier years which had evolved into the Quonset hut, but the need to build bigger, more permanent structures pushed designers into 'modular' thinking - reproducible building elements in cheap, readily available materials, such as concrete, that could be mass-produced and assembled into structures in a number of different ways, usually relying on some form of steel 'skeleton' to support them. An alternative method, as used in Ronan Point, was known as LPS (Large Panel System) building and involved casting large concrete prefabricated sections off-site then bolting them together to create the building. These forms of construction, originally conceived in 'The Lawn' (the first residential tower block in the UK constructed in Harlow, Essex in 1951) fulfilled the need to provide mass housing on limited land areas in inner cities.


Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Anderston, Glasgow
Brunswick Estate
Brunswick Estate
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
The Fleet Building
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Construction: Newgate House, Newcastle 1961
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Newgate House, Newcastle 1962
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Demolition: Newgate House, Newcastle 2000

The style of design pioneered by Le Corbusier, now generally known as 'Brutalist' (the term being coined by English architects Alison and Peter Smithson in 1953, from the French 'béton brut' or 'raw concrete', a phrase used by Le Corbusier in describing the poured textured concrete with which he constructed many of his buildings), flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s and contrary to previous design created simplistic, unadorned, monolithic concrete structures built around a steel frame. The name became more widely accepted after British architectural critic Reyner Banham used it in the title of his 1966 book, 'The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic?' Brutalist constructions usually exhibit striking and repetitive angular geometries, often textured with wooden forms from the moulds used in the on-site casting of concrete. Although concrete is the material most widely associated with the style, its use is not necessary for a building to be considered as Brutalist architecture. Building materials also included aluminium, glass, steel, rough-hewn stone and gabions. Many of Alison and Peter Smithson's designs are built from brick. On the other hand, just because the main construction material was concrete, the design style was not necessarily Brutalist, but could have been one of any of a range of popular post-war styles such as Constructivism, Expressionism, International, Deconstructivism or Postmodernist.

The style grew in popularity as inexpensive construction and design methods for low-cost housing, shopping centres and office buildings were pursued. However, many large budget construction projects also embraced the style as it had certain 'futuristic' qualities. Nonetheless, many architects chose the Brutalist style even when they had large budgets. Britain was establishing its own 'modernist' architects and designers, such as Sir Basil Spence, the designer of Coventry Cathedral, Owen Luder and his 'Tricorn' shopping centre and Alison and Peter Smithson who created London's 'Economist' building and 'Robin Hood Gardens', Richard Seifert, John Bancroft and Sir Denys Lasdun. Foreign architects such as 'Trellick Tower' designer Hungarian Erno Goldfinger were also making their mark. There were construction triumphs such as the Post Office Tower as well as planning disasters like Westgate House, Newcastle, but the public housing projects influenced by Le Corbusier are now considered to be largely responsible for having the effect of isolating communities in high-rises and disrupting the traditional social ties integral to community development.


Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Sheffield Castle Market
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Construction: The Commonwealth Institute
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
The Commonwealth Institute 1962
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Queen Elizabeth Hall 1967
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Construction: Madison Square Garden 1968
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Madison Square Garden Center

As cities underwent massive rebuilding programmes entire communities were split up and re-housed in anonymous, sometimes badly-constructed (see 'Ronan Point') grey boxes, even if they didn't want to go. There were, not unusually, no suitably supervisable play areas for children and ineffective lift maintenance often resulted in residents having to climb up and down dozens of flights of stairs on a regular basis. Richard Seifert's commercial building designs have made a major contribution to London's skyline with Centre Point (and later the NatWest Tower - now called Tower 42), which was completed in 1964 at a cost of £5.5 million. This was to be one of the most controversial building projects ever seen in London and was in a planning stage as early as 1956 when London County Council decided that it wanted to build a roundabout at the junction and modernise the surrounding area but couldn't afford to buy the land.

A developer called Harry Hyams offered to buy the land for the roundabout if the LCC agreed to provide him with planning permission to build around and over it. What turned out to be an illegal agreement resulted in Centre Point being constructed but remaining empty for many years after its completion. Hyams realised that, by keeping it empty, he could avoid having to pay business rates on the building while the capital appreciation of the property value was far in excess of any lost rental income. The building was first advertised as being available to rent in 1973, by which time its estimated value had grown to £20 million, making it the most profitable building venture ever in London.

The NatWest Tower was the tallest building in the City of London for a long time. Designed by Seifert and engineered by Pell Frischmann, it was built by John Mowlem & Co between 1971 and 1980, being formally opened on 11th June 1981 by Queen Elizabeth II. The Tricorn Centre was probably one of the most dramatic Brutalist style projects, a shopping and car park complex in Portsmouth, Hampshire, designed by Owen Luder and Rodney Gordon, taking its name from its similarity in shape to the hat of the same name. It was a classic example of the Brutalist genre and had the dubious honour of being voted the 3rd ugliest building in the UK before its eventual demolition in 2004. Architect Sir Denys Louis Lasdun contributed the bold and dramatic designs of many buildings, including the National Theatre, Keeling House and the Royal College of Physicians, to the London of the late Fifties and Sixties. His best-known design is probably the Royal National Theatre on London's South Bank and a notable example of the Brutalist style of design.


Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Alexander Fleming Building 1963
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Euston: Old Station
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Euston: New Station
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Forton Service Area M4 1965
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Brasilia 1960
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Construction: Berlin Wall 1961

Also on the South Bank is The Queen Elizabeth Hall, standing alongside the Royal Festival Hall which was built for the Festival of Britain of 1951. Two auditoriums, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Purcell Room were designed as additions to the Southbank Centre arts complex by Hubert Bennett, head of the architects department of the GLC, with Jack Whittle, F.G West and Geoffrey Horsefall and opened in March 1967, followed by The Hayward in October 1968. Philip Powell RA and Jacko Moya gained widespread acclaim when they won a competition for their Modernist design of the Churchill Gardens housing estate in Pimlico. Their later works include the Museum of London and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre.
Due to the London County Council's construction height restrictions, Patrick Hodgkinson's brief was to convert an area of run-down terraced housing into a construction project that achieved the same density as two tower blocks without exceeding the 80 ft height limit. His solution was to create a design that put the housing in two rows with a shopping centre in the middle and two levels of underground car parking. The design of The Brunswick, started in 1959, was his concept of a 'London village' but didn't turn out quite that way.

By 1964 the Labour government had passed laws requiring evicted tenants to be compensated, making the scheme financially unviable. A compromise was reached and construction went ahead, finally being completed in 1972, but was considerably different in content from the original concept and metamorphosed into a 'council housing ghetto'. Sir Frederick Gibberd's design for the fourth and newest Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral was chosen out of more than 300 entries from all over the world. Building began in October 1962 with Pathé newsreels covering the various stages of the building process. It was completed less than five years later on the Feast of Pentecost, 14th May 1967.


Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Construction: Coventry Cathedral 1959
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Coventry Cathedral 1962
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Liverpool Cathedral 1967
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Balfron Tower 1967
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Churchill Gardens 1961
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Ile Notre Dame Biosphere, Montreal, Expo 67

The Fleet Building was a huge 11-storey telecommunications centre, designed by W.S. Frost with guidance from Eric Bedford, chief architect of the Ministry of Works, and was completed in 1960. Situated on a large site between Shoe Lane and Farringdon Street it is currently the subject of redevelopment plans. Alison and Peter Smithson's iconic designs include the Economist Building (59-65), the Garden Building at St Hilda's College, Oxford (68) and the highly controversial Robin Hood Gardens estate (69-72). The 79-metre tall St. George's House (better known as the Nestlé Tower) was completed in Croydon in 1964 to house the Swiss food company. It was designed by architects Ronald Ward and Partners, who also designed the Millbank Tower (originally known as Vickers Tower) in 1963.

Ronan Point, named after Harry Louis Ronan (a former Chairman of the Housing Committee of the London Borough of Newham), was part of the wave of tower blocks built in the 1960s as cheap, affordable prefabricated housing for inhabitants of the West Ham region of London. The 22-storey tower was built by Taylor Woodrow Anglian, Construction started in 1966 and was completed on 11 March 1968. However, it partly collapsed shortly afterwards on 16 May 1968 when a gas explosion demolished a load-bearing wall, causing the collapse of one entire corner of the building. Four people were killed in the incident, and 17 were injured. Although partially rebuilt with strengthened joints (and gas supplies removed!) , this incident led to a general public mistrust of current tower block construction and major changes in building regulations, the first of which came with the 5th Amendment to the Building Regulations in 1970. All nine tower blocks on the estate, containing 990 flats, including Ronan Point, were demolished in 1986 to make way for a new development of low-rise housing.

Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Fitzwilliam 1967
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Nestle Building 1964
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Royal College of Physicians 1964
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
University of East Anglia 1967
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Verrazano Narrows Bridge
Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
The Tricorn Building

Hungarian-born architect Erno Goldfinger owned a house in Hampstead, London, adjacent to James Bond author Ian Fleming, who took a dislike to Erno's design style and destruction of Victorian architecture so much that he named the famous Bond villain after him! Curiously, Goldfinger was later responsible for designing Alexander Fleming House (now Metro Central Heights), one of London's iconic buildings, completed in 1966. Other Erno Goldfinger designs of the Sixties and early Seventies included the Balfron and Trellick Towers and Carradale and Glenkerry Houses. The 27-storey Balfron Tower was an earlier and slightly shorter version of the 31-storey Trellick Tower. Carradale House and Glenkerry House are on the same Brownfield Estate. In Northern Ireland, the somewhat infamous Divis flats complex in west Belfast was built between 1968 and 1972 and was demolished in the early 1990s. Divis Tower, built separately in 1966, still stands, and the former British Army base on the top two floors has been converted into new dwellings. The vehicular equivalent of tower blocks - multi-storey car parks - were constructed to address the increasing problem of town centre parking and by-passes were constructed around towns and cities to try and reduce traffic jams.

Centre Point Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Centre Point 1964
Trellick Tower Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Trellick Tower 1972
Ronan Point Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Ronan Point 1968
Marina City Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Marina City, Chicago

Further afield, outside of the UK, Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller was an American architect, inventor and futurist who developed the construction method known as the geodesic dome, the best-known example of which was the Montreal Biosphere at Expo 67. August 13th 1961 saw the beginning of the construction of the Berlin Wall, which was completed after just 18 days. The Verrazano Narrows bridge was opened in New York in 1964. Its centre span of 4,260 feet made it the longest suspension bridge in the world until it was surpassed by the UK's Humber Bridge in 1981. The 7.2 mile Mont Blanc Tunnel road tunnel under the Mont Blanc mountain in the Alps was started in 1957 and completed in 1965, linking Chamonix, France with the Aosta Valley in Italy.

The Salazar Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal was inaugurated on August 6th 1966. A suspension bridge, with 'international orange' colouring, it was often compared to the 'Golden Gate' Bridge in San Francisco, USA, and it is not surprising to find out that it was actually built by the American Bridge Company, the same company that constructed the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge. Madison Square Garden, the multi-purpose indoor arena situated on top of the Pennsylvania Station in New York was opened on February 11th 1968 and was the fourth building to bear the name. Constructed by R.E. McKee of El Paso, Texas, it was one of the first buildings to be constructed above an active railroad system.

The Marina City complex in the USA was designed in 1959 by architect Bertrand Goldberg. Completed in 1964, at a cost of $36 million, it is notable for being the first building in the United States to be constructed with tower cranes. The Fernsehturm (television tower) in Germany was constructed between August 4th 1965 and transmitted its first signals on October 3rd 1969, being officially inaugurated four days later. It was conceived by the former German Democratic Republic who intended it to be not only a telecommunications tower but a symbol of post-war Berlin. The original total height of the tower was 365 metres, since extended further by the addition of aerials, makes it still the highest structure in Germany and the fourth tallest free-standing structure in Europe.

Fernsehturm Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Fernsehturm , Berlin
Ostankino Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Ostankino, Moscow
Economist Building Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
The Economist Building, 1959
Post Office Tower Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Construction: Post Office Tower 1963
Post Office Tower Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
Construction: Post Office Tower 1963
Post Office Tower Sixties City Buildings and Architecture
The Post Office Tower London

The many major building projects of the Sixties are far too varied and numerous to do justice to on this page but, just for interest, here's a completely arbitrary list of 100 other notable Sixties constructions (UK in purple) that might interest you:


The Victoria underground railway line
The Plaza (Sir John Moores Bldg), Liverpool
The BBC Television Centre
Shell Centre, London
CIS Tower, Manchester
MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) Birmingham
Manchester One
Thelwall Viaduct
London Hilton on Park Lane
Clyde Tunnel
Dartford Tunnel
Portland House
Tate Modern
Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff-on-Sea
Mark II (radio telescope), Jodrell Bank
Sheaf House, Sheffield
380kV Thames Crossing
Finsbury Park station
111 Piccadilly (Rodwell Tower), Manchester
City Tower, Manchester
Rotunda (Birmingham)
Kingsgate Bridge, Durham
Severn Bridge
Sizewell A Power Station
Southampton Airport Parkway railway station
BT Tower (Birmingham)
North Tower (Highland House), Salford
Victoria Railway Bridge (Grosvenor Bridge)
M4 motorway Usk bridge
CityPoint (aka Britannic Tower), London
Edinburgh University Library
Tower Hill tube station
The Tyne Tunnel
Martello Court, Edinburgh

Cockenzie power station, Scotland
Easington Gas Terminal
Eggborough power station
Newcastle Civic Centre
Trinity Square, Gateshead
20 Fenchurch Street, London
Euston tube station
King's Cross St. Pancras tube station
Heathrow Cargo Tunnel
Sussex Heights, Brighton
Bloomsbury Theatre
Anniesland Court, Glasgow
Bacton Gas Terminal
Chelsea Drugstore
Lindsey Oil Refinery, UK
RNAD Coulport
Kingston Bridge, Glasgow
St. Helen's (aka Aviva Tower or CU building)

Humber Refinery
Radio City Tower, Liverpool
Wyndham Court, Southampton
York University Observatory

The CERN particle accelerator, Geneva
New York State Pavilion - 1965 World's Fair
Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
The Euromast, Rotterdam
The Cairo Tower
One Chase Manhattan Plaza
State Kremlin Palace
Washington Dulles International Airport
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge
MetLife Building, New York
Dodger Stadium
The Space Needle, Seattle
Saint Petersburg TV Tower
Great St Bernard Tunnel
Kyoto Tower, Japan
Charles de Gaulle Bridge
Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker
Europa-Centre, Berlin
The Aswan High Dam, Egypt
The World Trade Center, New York
The Moscow Television Tower
Reliant Astrodome, Houston
Skylon Tower, Niagara Falls
New Mexico State Capitol
Tel Aviv City Hall
Vicente Calderón Stadium, Madrid
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Swiety Krzyz TV Tower, Poland
The Vertical Assembly Building, Kennedy Space Centre
Alicante Airport
Sacramento International Airport
Sands Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Watergate complex, Washington DC
Habitat 67, Montreal
Brasilia TV Tower
Casino de Montréal
Gateway Arch, St.Louis
Lokomotiv Republican Sports Complex, Ukraine
Ostankino Tower, Moscow
Circus Circus, Las Vegas
Olympiaturm, Munich
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station
Dresden TV tower

Major Road Construction

With the increase in road vehicles, bigger and better motorways were on the increase as well. As far back as 1905 proposals had been made for a London 'orbital road'. The 1944 Abercrombie report for the regeneration of London actually recommended five ring roads, of which just the North Circular and the M25, which was a combination of two, have been subsequently built. The M25 is the longest city 'bypass' in the world at a length of 117 miles, its distance from Charing Cross varying from 13 to 22 miles. The final section was opened by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1986, by which time its total cost was close to £1,000 million.

Most of the M1, as we know it now, was opened between 1959 and 1968. M1 motorway and other roads in the 1960s and 1970s (You Tube)
Britain's first stretch of motorway opened on 2nd November 1959, with the M1 connecting Watford to Rugby, paving the way for a whole list of roadway 'firsts' during the late Fifties and Sixties:


First dual three-lane section M1, Crick to Berrygrove, November 1959
First urban motorway M63, Stretford - Eccles by-pass, October 1960
First major high level viaduct M63, Barton High level Bridge, October 1960
First three-level interchange M6/A6, Fylde junction, January 1965
First four level interchange M4/M5, Almondsbury interchange, September 1966
First toll bridge M4 (now M48), Severn river crossing, September 1966
First tunnel M4, Crindau tunnel at Newport, May 1967
First two-level viaduct M1, Tinsley viaduct, March 1968

Two major new road bridges were also opened in Scotland - the Forth Road Bridge (right) in 1964 and the Tay Bridge in 1966 - popularly shortening journey distances but disliked for the toll charges to use them.

Forth Bridge Sixties City Buildings and Architecture

As far back as 1905 proposals had been made for a London 'orbital road'. The 1944 Abercrombie report for the regeneration of London actually recommended five ring roads, of which just the North Circular and the M25, which was a combination of two, have been subsequently built. A narrower concept was first mooted in the 1960s as part of the London Ringways plan to build four ring roads around London. The Westway was a predecessor of the London Ringways, planned to circumnavigate London on raised levels. The plan was abandoned in 1971, but not before construction had commenced on partially-completed spur roads leading to nowhere in particular. Building the Westway
The M25 is the longest city 'bypass' in the world at a length of 117 miles, its distance from Charing Cross varying from 13 to 22 miles. The final section was opened by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1986, by which time its total cost was close to £1,000 million.
(also see Transport)

UK Motorway Completion

1960
1st April M6 Lancaster by-pass (part now A601M)
2nd October M62 Stretford-Eccles by-pass
3rd November M50 Brokeridge Common - Ross
4th December A20M Maidstone by-pass West (now M20)

1961
1st May A4M Maidenhead by-pass (now M4)
2nd July A1M Doncaster by-pass
3rd September A20M Maidstone by-pass East (now M20)

1962
1st May A1M Stevenage by-pass
2nd July M5 Lydiate Ash - Strensham
3rd July M50 Strensham - Brokeridge Common
4th August M6 Stafford by-pass
5th November M6 Hanchurch - Cheshire boundary
6th December M6 Stafford by-pass - Hanchurch

1963
1st March M4 Slough - Maidenhead by-pass
2nd July M6 Warrington - Preston
3rd November M6 Cheshire boundary - Warrington
4th November M2 Medway Bridge - Stockbury
1964
1st August M90 Forth Road Bridge approach

1965
1st January M6 Preston - Lancaster
2nd March M4 Chiswick - Slough
3rd May A1M Darlington by-pass (including A66(M) spur)
4th November M1 Crick - Kegworth
5th November M5 Quinton - Lydiate Ash
6th November M8 Harthill by-pass
7th November M2 Stockbury - Faversham
8th November M2 Three Crutches - Medway Bridge

1966
1st January M4 Tormarton - Almondsbury
2nd March M6 Shareshill - Dunston
3rd May M1 Kegworth - Sandiacre
4th July M4 Port Talbot by-pass (opened as A48M)
5th September M32 Hambrook Spur
6th September M4 Almondsbury - Aust
7th September M4 Severn Bridge and Wye Bridge (M48)
8th September M6 Darlaston - Shareshill
9th November M1 Brockley - Berrygrove
10th November M1 Sandiacre - Nuthall
11th December M74 Uddingston by-pass - Hamilton

1967
1st March A57M Mancunian Way
2nd April M1 Wakefield - East Ardsley
3rd May M1 Nuthall - Pinxton
4th May M1 Page Street - Brockley
5th May M4 Newport by-pass
6th June M40 Handy Cross - Stokenchurch
7th July A1M Baldock by-pass
8th July M1 Thurcroft - Timley
9th August M4 Magor - Coldra
10th August M8 Harthill - Newhouse
11th October M1 East Ardsley - Stourton
12th November M1 Pinxton - Thurcroft
13th November M18 Thurcroft - Wadsworth

1968

1st March M8 Renfrew by-pass

2nd May M74 Hamilton - Larkhall

3rd June M1 Meadowhall - Tankersley

4th August M9 Polmont and Falkirk by-pass

5th September M1 Tankersley - Darton
6th October M1 Darton - Wakefield
7th November M6 Penrith by-pass
8th November M6 Bescott - Darlaston
9th November M8 Glasgow IRR Townhead

1969
1st March M40 Wycombe End - Handy Cross
2nd March M5 Filton by-pass - Avonmouth
3rd September A1M Durham Motorway
4th September M8 Dechmont - Whitburn
5th November M61 Horwich - Preston
6th December M90 Crossgates - Kelty
7th December A102M Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach
M1 near Sundon
M1 construction near Sundon


In the late sixties a motorway was planned as an extension to the A40 as a three-lane elevated road beginning at White City, cutting through North Kensington and Paddington to join up with the Marylebone Road heading into the City. An additional 'spur' road was planned going Northwards to join up with the M1. There was massive opposition to this that carried on into the initial construction phase, due to the potential destruction of the St. Quintin Estate and the route was eventually changed, with the plan for the spur road eventually being completely abandoned. The foundations for the spur had already been laid and can still be seen on the roundabout at the Wood Lane junction.

Motorway Services

Motorway service stations were almost a class of architecture and culture all by themselves. The first service station, Watford Gap on the M1, sold sandwiches out of hastily erected sheds from the first day the M1 opened. Newport Pagnell opened on 15th August 1960 under the name 'Motorway Services Ltd', a joint venture between Forte and Blue Star. The original idea was for Watford Gap to cater for lorries and Newport Pagnell for cars, but that never actually happened for several reasons. Fortes opened the facility in 1960 under strict instructions to make it 'uninteresting' and to mask it from the road with tree planting. When the Government made their final inspection they found that both criteria had been completely ignored, but the services opened anyway. The highlight of Forton was its hexagonal tower, which resembled an airport control tower.

Watford Gap 2nd November 1959 M1 J16 / J17 (Blue Boar)
Newport Pagnell 15th August 1960 M1 J14 / J15 (Forte/Blue Star 'Motorway Services')
Strensham November 1962 M5 J7 / J8 (Kenning Motor Group)
Charnock Richard 1963 M6 J27 / J28 (Forte/Blue Star 'Motorway Services')
Keele 1963 M6 J15 / J16 (Forte/Blue Star as 'Motorway Services')
Medway 1963 M2 J4 / J5 (Rank)
Knutsford 1963 M6 J18 / J19 (Rank)
Toddington 1964 M1 J11 / J12 (Granada)
Forton (Lancaster) 1965 M6 J32 / J33 (Rank)
Birmingham South (Frankley) 1966 M5 J3 / J4 (Granada)
Leicester Forest East 1966 M1 J21 / J21a (Ross Frozen Foods)
Aust (Severn View) 1966 (Top Rank)
Ross Spur 1966 (later derelict) M50 at J4 (Welcome Break)
Heston 1967 M4 J2 / J3 (Granada)
Trowell 1967 M1 J25 / J26 (Mecca Leisure's only service station)
Woodall 1968 M1 J30 / J31 (Trusthouse Forte)
Scratchwood (London Gateway) 1969 M1 J2 / J4 (Trusthouse Forte)
Scratchwood Services c.1965





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