NAAFI Building, Plymouth

NAAFI Building, Notte st/Armada Way, Plymouth – E M Joseph – 1949-51 – (demolished 2010)

Also known as the Hoe Centre, I managed to catch a few photos of the building before it was completely demolished in Autumn 2010. (These piccies were taken in September 2010, and I can only apologise to my loyal fans for the amount of time it has taken me to get them up here!)

For those of you less in the know, NAAFI stands for Navy Army & Air Forces Institution.   It was opened in 1952 by Princess Margaret and was designed by the same architect behind the landmark Shell Mex House on The Strand in London.

It was demolished by its owners the University of Plymouth, because it was deemed to be unsafe apparently and is now going to be replaced with student accommodation. Frankly I think this is a damned shame. It was a unique and magnificent building and formed a key element in Abercrombie’s post-war plan for  the city of Plymouth, which had been heavily hit by bombing raids during WW2. This was one of the last surviving buildings of its type in the country.

Old News

Welcome to my new website! Regular Dog and Deco visitors will notice I’m going through a bit of a makeover. Exciting changes are afoot…

This is my new News section. In due course I’ll be bringing you the latest on what’s hot and what’s not in the world of Art Deco factories, including info and updates on other architectural, conserservation and design related stuff, and maybe even a bit about what I’m up to when not scouting around for more buildings to pose in front of. In the meantime, here’s a mini-archive of some old news for my new News section…

May 7th 2009

Mid Century Show and Cooden Beach House Open Day

south-cliffThis Sunday (May 10th) sees the Midcentury Show at the De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill on Sea – . And rather excitingly, for those of you looking to buy a really super example of a Deco/Modern house buy the sea, The Modern House estate agents have an viewing day for their Maynard designed South Cliff property, which they are selling near Cooden Beach. For more details and to book a slot see their website:

Le Corbusier exhibition at the Barbican, finishes 24th May

I haven’t seen it because they don’t let in dogs, but my manager assures me that this exhibition is well worth the trip to the Barbican. Only three more weekends to catch it!

July 10th 2008

Battersea Power Station open day

I’ve just found out that Battersea Power Station is going to be open to the public this Saturday (12th July) and next (19th July). I’m gutted I’m going to miss it, but it sounds like a bit of a unique opportunity – you get to go into the turbine hall and everything, as well as view the planned development for the site.

For more info see the Battersea Power Station site and click on the “Consultation” page.

Carlisle factories & mills

Miscellaneous factories and mills, Carlisle, Cumbria – architects tbc – dates tbc

Carlisle Enterprise Centre
Carlisle Enterprise Centre

I had an extended impromptu visit to Carlisle recently so I spent my time checking out the local sites. Any info on any of the following will be greatly appreciated!

Carlisle mill and chimney

Carlisle factory

Control Tower, Dumfries Airfield

Control Tower, Dumfries Airfield, Heathall, Dumfries & Galloway – 1940

Control Tower, RAF Dumfries

Pickles at dumfries airfield

This is the restored Control Tower of the former WWII airfield at Dumfries, and the centrepiece of the Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum. I had wanted to include a photo of me beside a Spitfire – the perfect example of the development of Art Deco streamlined design, of course – but we were here at the end of October and my god it was cold and wet, so I began to lose my patience (there were also a few rabbits kicking around which rather distracted me!).

Tell you what though, this museum is a great place, if you’re into planes that is. Don’t expect the curatorial standards of the Metropolitan Museum, it is evidently run by enthusiastic volunteers, but the Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum makes a really fun and informative visit – and they let dogs in!

St.Peter’s Seminary, Cardross

St Peter’s Seminary – Cardross, Dumbartonshire – Gillespie Kidd & Coia, 1962-68

St.Peters Seminary

St.Peters Seminary

St.Peters Seminary inside

St.Peters Seminary central staircase

I know, I know, I can hear you all crying I should be wearing my high-viz vest in such a dangerous building… Lots has been written about this amazing but depressingly derelict building. For starters you can read lots more, see photos, find maps and hear people’s memories of this seminary at these sites:

K8 telephone kiosks, Erskine Bridge, Renfrewshire

K8 telephone kiosks, nr Kilmartin Village – Bruce Martin, 1968

Pickles the dog at rare K8 kiosk

north side, traffic heading North

Pickles at rare K8

north side, traffic heading South

As promised a few months ago, I have found these wonderful examples of the very rare K8 telephone kiosk on the north side of the approach road to the Erskine Bridge in Renfrewshire; I’m fairly sure there are another two on the south side of the bridge as well. Designed by Bruce Martin in 1968, they were a rationalisation of the earlier K6 kiosk designed by Dog and Deco fave, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

Martin’s K8 was the last red cast iron telephone box ever to be constructed in the UK, and represents the final stage in the lineage of a design that has become a global icon and symbol of Britain. Pitifully few of the 11,000 boxes manufactured remain and it is an incredibly rare feature in the British landscape – the boxes were too young to be protected by English Heritage when BT began decommissioning boxes in 1984.

However, twelve known survivors have been submitted to English Heritage by the Twentieth Century Society, who are also running a campaign to find out about any other boxes they may not be aware of yet. You could also tell us here if you know of any other K8 kiosks.

People Will Always Need Plates K8 tea towels

Why not buy a pack splendidly good K8 tea towels like these ones, designed by the fabulous People Will Always Need Plates. All money goes to the Twentieth Century Society campaign to protect the phone boxes.

Weirs of Cathcart, Glasgow

Weir Pumps Ltd, Cathcart works, 147-149 Newlands Road – (Offices and amenity block) Wylie, Shanks & Wylie – 1937

weirs of cathcart factory

Weirs of Cathcart

Weirs of Cathcart

Weirs of Cathcart

Weirs was founded in 1870 and moved to this site in 1886 where they manufactured pumps, boilers and other auxiliary equipment for ships. The factory began to manufacture aeroplanes in 1917 and Weir’s became the largest Clydeside producers of military aircraft. Around that time William Douglas Weir, son of the founder James Weir and former Director of the company, became Secretary of State for the RAF.

No longer the Weir Group’s headquarters, the Cathcart plant is estimated to have had up to one million square feet of factory space at one stage. It is still used for their pump manufacturing division, but is threatened by regular proposals to turn the site into residential housing – originally a greenfield site, the residential tenements around it grew up subsequently.

It is still a massive complex, and you can read more about it in the book Greater Glasgow: An Illustrated Architectural Guide by Sam Small.

You can also get some more information about the production of the Weir autogiro aircraft on the Hidden Glasgow forum and see some good pictures of the site, including aerial photos here.

K6 telephone box & the Fortingall Yew

K6 telephone box, UK – Sir Giles Gilbert Scott – 1935

K6 telephone box and the Fortingall Yew tree

I had a lovely trip last weekend to Glen Lyon in Perthshire, so I thought I’d strike a pose in front of this classic phone box with the oldest tree in Europe (and possibly the world), the Fortingall Yew, in the background. The tree is believed to be about 5,000 years old and Pontius Pilate was meant to have grown up in the village – you can find out more about the Fortingall Yew here. But enough about nature, back to my deco!

I know this isn’t exactly a factory, but the K6 telephone box was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also designed Bankside Power Station and Battersea Power Station. The K6 was the most popular box he designed for the General Post Office, it followed his K2 from the 1920s – you can find out more about red phone boxes here. The Twentieth Century Society have recently launched a campaign to save the K8 designed by Bruce Martin in 1968. There are believed to be only 12 examples of the K8 left in Britain – it is my mission to try and strike a pose by one of them soon…

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Carreras cigarette factory

Carreras Cigarette Factory (now Greater London House), Mornington Crescent, London -M.E and O.H Collins with A.G Porri – 1926-8

Carreras building black cat

Carreras building other black cat

I don't actually like cats

I don't actually like cats

Back “on message”, this classic Deco factory is especially for those of you who were disgusted by my last Brutalist concrete entry!

On Hampstead Road, NW1, this was apparently the first factory in Britain to make use of pre-stressed concrete technology, the first to contain air conditioning and a dust extraction plant and the company was the first to provide full welfare services for its employees (all taken from Wikipedia, so not my words). After Carreras merged with Rothmans, and the building was sold in the 1960s the decorative facade was removed – including those bronze cats (not sphinxes). The building was restored in the late 1990s, and it houses the offices of a number of media companies.

Carreras factory from Hampstead Rd

Carreras factory from Hampstead Rd

Here is a not very good photo – you have to imagine the drunk man in his mobility chair distracting me just off camera bottom left, add to this my panicking PA, concerned we were going to miss our train from Euston, and you get the picture… – but I thought it would give you an idea of the geography of the building.

Trinity Square car park

Trinity Square car park, Gateshead – Owen Luder – opened in 1969

Trinity Square carpark
Trinity Square carpark

I know, I know – neither Art Deco or a factory. But this building is such a distinctive landmark that I couldn’t not strike a pose when I was in the area. The building was made famous due to its appearance in the most wonderful film Get Carter (the 1971 version, of course).

Built as the key feature in the Trinity Square shopping complex, the square-windowed viewing room on the top floor was designed as space for a restaurant/bar, but it was never used. I have to say I love this Brutalist building, but I’ve met lots of people who hate it! The site is owned by Tesco, and I understand that planning permission is in place to demolish and replace the whole area. You can read more about the site and its current status on the Risky Buildings and The Twentieth Century Society websites.Trinity Square carpark

Wills cigarette factory, Newcastle upon Tyne

WD & HO Wills factory, Coast Road, Newcastle upon Tyne – Cecil Hockin – 1946

Pickles at the Wills tobacco factory, Newcastle








Wills tobacco factory entrance, Newcastle     












Wills tobacco factory entrance, Newcastle













Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. These piccies were taken months ago during my Christmas travels around the country – it gets dark very early and rather quickly in December and it was a really cold day, which is why they’re not quite up to scratch (and besides, I had parties to get to), but I hope that they give you a decent enough idea of the building. And we did have fun there!

The factory was designed by Cecil Hockin who was apparently an in-house Imperial Tobacco Company architect. This suggests that he may also have designed the Wills factory in Glasgow, see previous entry (- thanks to Demdoggydog for the pointer).

The factory closed in 1986 and it laid derelict until the 90s when it was converted into apartments by Wimpey. You can see some fabulous photos taken during the last few days the factory operated at Amber Online

You can read more about architecture in the Newcastle and Gateshead region, including the Wills building, in this rather lovely book: Newcastle and Gateshead: Architecture and Heritage

Coty factory, Great West Road

Coty perfume and cosmetics factory, Great West Road – Wallis, Gilbert & Partners – 1932

former Coty perfume and cosmetics factory

former Coty factory entrance

Opposite the former Firestone building, this factory was used for the manufacture of Coty soaps, lipsticks, scents and creams until 1979.  It has been under scaffolding for a while and is still getting some work done inside, I look forward to it looking rather scrummy in a few months time, hopefully.

Next door to it is a new Audi centre, which, judging by an old photo I’ve seen, used to be a very lovely towered factory for Brittol Ltd and later for Admiralty Oil – massive shame it’s gone.

Wills tobacco factory, Glasgow

Wills factory, Alexandra Parade, Glasgow – architect unknown – date 1940s?




Crikey, I am surprised – I can’t find any info on who originally designed this Glasgow landmark, or when. As you can see in the photos, it’s been recently redeveloped into a business park. Admittedly I’ve been struggling to get my paws and claws around the pages of any books, so maybe haven’t researched as hard as I could, but I’d love any more facts if you’ve got any.

I don’t even know what fags they used to make here…

Alexandra Parade factory

Alexandra Parade, Glasgow – architect unknown – date unknown


Just along the road from the old Wills factory. Would love to know more about it if you’ve got any info!

Templeton’s Carpet Factory, Glasgow

Templeton’s Carpet Factory, Glasgow Green – William Leiper & George A Boswell (later extensions) – 1888-92 & 1928-37

Original factory wing (Leiper, 1888-92)

Original factory wing (Leiper, 1888-92)

1936 wing, Boswell

1936 wing, Boswell

Corner tower (Boswell, 1934)

Corner tower (Boswell, 1934)

OK, I know it isn’t all even 20th century, but this has to be one of the most stunning buildings in Glasgow. The factory was designed by William Leiper for the manufacture of Axminster carpets, and the Venetian style gothic block (top) was built between 1888 and 1892.  Behind the facade, the functional mill was designed by engineers, Messrs J B Harvey.  Part of it collapsed in 1889, killing 29 women in the adjacent weaving sheds.

Various wings were added over the years, and I’m posing in front of the two best. All the 1920s and 30s wings are designed by George Boswell. It was converted into a business centre in the 1980s.

On my trip to Templeton’s factory, I met some lovely ladies who were wondering what the chimney with the rising smoke across the green to the south was. Well, I can confirm that it is from the Allied Distillers plant in the Gorbals – I hope that helps!

Salkeld Street factory, Glasgow

Salkeld St., Glasgow – Probably James Miller – 1933

I believe this beauty of a building was originally built for Leyland Motor Co. You can see it on your left as you come into Glasgow Central Station by train. Also, I think that the concrete rendering on the columns around the entrance covers up some fancy faience – if that’s true it’d be great to see a photo of it in its original glory.  A little factoid for you: It was used as a location in Peter Capaldi’s film Strictly Sinatra.

The Hoover Building

Hoover factory, Western Ave, Perivale – Wallis, Gilbert & Partners – 1931-38

The best building in world ever – the Art Deco factory fan’s Mecca – no more words necessary. Enjoy…

The Hoover Building

The Hoover Building

Hoover / Tesco car park

Hoover / Tesco car park

rear entrance

rear entrance

Hoover factory canteen rear

Hoover factory canteen rear

Hoover factory canteen front

Hoover factory canteen front

main gates

main gates

front entrance

front entrance

dog and deco porn shot

dog and deco porn

Aladdin factory, Greenford

Aladdin factory, Western Ave, Greenford – architect unknown – date unknown

I’m afraid that since they closed down the B&Q superstore that used to trade in the factory building I can’t get close to it, so had to pose on the footbridge over the A40.

Miscellaneous Nestles Avenue factory, Hayes

Factory, Nestle’s Ave, Hayes – architect unknown – date unknown

Hayes Cocoa (now Nestle)

Hayes Cocoa factory, now Nestle (since 1949) – Wallis, Gilbert & Partners & Truscon – 1932(?)

Problem is they won’t let anyone, let alone a mutt like, anywhere on the premises without prior arranged permission with the Nestle HR –  and I’m just not that organised, so here’s the gates. (With this tight security I wonder if they’ve got a load of Oompa Loompas working there?)

I know this next piccie isn’t deco, but it’s pretty cool – it’s the back of the Nestle factory complex that backs onto the Grand Union Canal. You can smell it for miles, and I love it!

EMI factory, Hayes

EMI/HMV factories, Hayes – Wallis, Gilbert & Partners – 1930s

EMI factory Hayes

hmv factory?

Is this the HMV factory?

These railings were far too high for me to get anywhere near into shot, so very sorry I don’t feature in this photo – but I thought it would be worth you getting to see the building from a different angle.

EMI factory Hayes

Hayes EMI complex

I don’t know too much about these factory buildings I’m afraid. In fact I don’t know if the building in this bottom photo is even part of the EMI complex, but I liked it anyway so struck a pose. Part of this complex is the HMV factory, I think its the top one (and the one from other side of railway line), but please do let me know if you’ve got any more info.

The site that I think is the HMV factory is about to be developed, and the security guards very kindly let me into the site to get up close and personal to the building. They also kindly kept their blimmin’ huge guard dog away from me, which was good because it was too early in  the morning for a fight.

Simmonds Aerocessories

Simmonds Aerocessories, Great West Road, Brentford – Wallis, Gilbert & Partners – 1937

Simmonds Aerocessories side entrance

They used to manufacture parts and patent devices for military aircraft until 1947.  In 1955 the building was taken over as headquarters for Beecham Group Ltd, which now as GlaxoSmithKline has its HQ across the road in new purpose-built complex. The Simmonds Aerocessories factory has recently been developed into executive apartments by Barrett (which explains the blimmin’ banners spoiling my shots below) and has been renamed Wallis House.

Simmonds Aerocessories

At the top of the main entrance tower is a sculpture of an angel / airman by Eric Gill who designed created the famous sculpture of Prospero and Ariel on BBC Broadcasting House and the typeface Gill Sans. Unfortunately, for the best view I’d need to get on top of the M4 flyover, which is right in front of the building, but you can see a good photo of it on the Art of the State website.

Simmonds Aerocessories railing

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station – Sir Giles Gilbert Scott – 1933 (completed 1957)

Pickles at Battersea power station

Well, what a fun morning I had on saturday – I finally made it to one of the open days of the Battersea Power Station site! A rare opportunity indeed. If you can possibly make it you should try and get along this saturday (Aug 23rd) between 10am and 5pm – it may be the last chance you get to see it this close up for a long while.

Just a word of warning though, if you’re a dog you probably won’t be allowed closer than I am in this piccie (above) – I had to get special permission (in my professional capacity as representative of Dog and Deco) to get into the site, and as you will see I took Health and Safety Exec guidelines very seriously, sporting a not-so-sexy fluorescent vest throughout my site visit.

For more info see the website:

Battersea power station south elevation

south elevation

Battersea turbine hall

turbine hall

(not a very good photo I’m afraid – I was very distracted by the bit of sausage I found just here – but the turbine hall is so special I thought it worthy of inclusion anyway)

Battersea power station north elevation

north elevation

Battersea power station north elevation

north elevation

Battersea power station main boiler house

main boiler house

Battersea power station staircase

staircase (adjacent to north west chimney)

a very smug mutt!

a very smug mutt!

St.Margarets factory, Twickenham

Factory (Thames Photographic) at St.Margarets roundabout, Chertsy Road (A316), Twickenham – date unknown – architect unknown

Factory in St.Margarets
Art deco factory in St.Margarets

I’m going to have to find out a lot more about this former factory in St.Margarets. It’s a real stunner and as you can tell has been renovated fairly recently. Its used as offices, currently with space to let it seems – I hope Michael Rodgers appreciates the extra publicity!

I’d love to hear if you can tell me anything more about it.

The former Packard works steps, Brentford

Packard works (Leonard Williams Ltd), Great West Road, Brentford – 1931 – Wallis, Gilbert and Partners

steps to former Packard factory


Pickles at steps to former Packard factory


steps to former Packard factory


This site is where they assembled and serviced the Canadian Packard cars. In March 1945 a V2 rocket destroyed the factory and all the remains are the original steps to the showroom. The bomb left 32 dead and 102  seriously injured, which makes the sad loss of the building seem a bit insignificant by comparison. 

It is now site to a remarkably dull Curry’s retail centre – rather ironic, as it is just along the road from the impressive former Curry’s HQ (see previous post).