Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Gloucester Graffiti


My City Of Ruins.....

Gloucester is a city that was eviscerated in the late 60's / early 70's by so-called "town planners" who replaced historic but crumbling buildings with hideous, modernistic concrete blocks. My generation never saw the city at its best and can only rely on old photos to convey its past. In recent years millions of pounds have been spent on the city, mostly renovating the tourist areas such as the historic docks. Which is fine, but the inner city is suffering in comparison.

The old Gloucester College was shut a few years ago and a shiny new purpose-built college was erected near to the docks, yet again in that tourist zone. The old building has been left to fall apart until now when, in an echo of '60s "civil improvement", it's been earmarked for demolition. It was obviously easier for the powers-that-be to allow the historic building to deteriorate, rather than spend money to keep it viable. This has provoked a rash of angry graffiti around the site.....

Apparently the building will be replaced by flats or apartments but, as with the docks' redevelopment, these will be out of the price range of most people, whereas what the city really needs is low-cost, affordable housing. And if that would mean less of the outlying countryside being torn up by developers, all the better.
( BTW the soulless concrete lump behind the college will go too... not such an outcry over that one... )

The graffiti has been painted over more than once but keeps returning. There were some interesting Banksy-style stencillings there too ( maybe the work of the great man himself? ) but they've now gone. What remains is the anger. The words below seem to sum it all up.....



6 comments:

joe bloke said...

breaks my heart. I see this shit everywhere I go.

cerebus660 said...

I hate to sound like an old fart, but it does piss me off to see more and more of our history disappearing. The problem with the English ( well, one of them, at least... ) is that as a nation we have little sense of our own heritage, which is ironic when we have such a long and rich history...

Em said...

I noticed some interesting graffiti of the Banksy stencil type in the old NCP multi story near the college. I'll take a picture next time I'm there.
It really upsets me that the old college is being knocked down as my dad used to lecture there and I still remember how proud I was to see his new office when he started.

cerebus660 said...

Hi Em! Thanks for the comment. I've got no real connection with the old college, other than it's a building I've walked past hundreds of times and I'd hate to see it replaced by yet more yuppie flats. ( Yep, I still use the word "yuppie"... unfortunately, their type still exist in these recession-hit times. )
But I'm sure this situation is far more upsetting for all the people who attended/taught in the college over the years.

Mickey Glitter said...

How sad to tear down older buildings to make way for new, especially when it won't have a fraction of the character. =(

cerebus660 said...

It is a shame and, as Joe says, all too familiar.

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