The Telephone Exchange

About 1974 was when the small house-sized Telephone Exchange was replaced by a structure 100 feet high.  I took little notice of the building going on as I was too busy in the home, but there were great protests and it was said to “stick out like a sore thumb”, and called “a blot on the landscape”; it was certainly a “thorn in the side” of people who lost the sunlight from their gardens, overshadowed as they were by this monstrous building.  I certainly hated its ugliness and almost sent a picture of it to Prince Charles once.  In later years a second lower building was erected and a bridge crossed over Exchange roads, between the two buildings. 

Later still it was decided to remove the bridge and turn the smaller building into flats.  These people will be very well protected if we ever have another war, as underneath the façade it is all pre-stressed concrete. It would be my wish to see this building imploded in my life time, but fear it will take a lot of removing due to its solid structure. 


This page was added on 11/07/2011.

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  • I’ve just seen it for the first time. What a wonderful brutalist gem! I hope it is listed before it can be destroyed to become horrid generic flats.

    By Allen D (07/01/2018)
  • I’ll probably get crucified for this, but I’ve always thought of it as handsome in an odd sort of way.  It’s certainly distinctive, and I’d argue that it’s the preferable end of Brutalist architecture (just be thankful we don’t have anything like Robin Hood Gardens in Stevenage – *spectacularly* ugly).

    I’ve always wanted to see what it looks like inside.  I wonder what it’s being used for now, and what the council’s plans are for it?

    By Tim G (20/08/2015)