House inspired by 1924 imperial exhibition demolished

A HOUSE inspired by the 1924 British Empire Exhibition was this week demolished to make way for flats.

The reinforced concrete building, in Church Lane, Royston, was built by the former owner of the Priory estate for his chauffeur after being inspired by the imperial showcase.

Local historian and town councillor F John Smith said: “Everything there was built of reinforced concrete and Mr Hargreaves the owner was very impressed with it.

“He thought it was going to be the coming material.

“When he got back to Royston he got this block house built out of reinforced concrete.

“I don’t think people thought that reinforced concrete was particularly good to look at, but it was the material of that particular time in the 1920s.”

Cllr Smith had previously been in the building, which has sat empty for about 10 years, when it was occupied and told The Crow that once inside it was the same as any house.

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A planning application was approved by North Herts District Council for a two-storey building containing a one- bedroomed flat and a two-bedroomed maisonette.

Despite the unusual history and design of the house, Cllr Smith said he would not be sorry to see it go.

“I’m delighted. I thought it looked dreadful,” he said.

“A lot of people have been interested in it this week.

“One person was overheard to say it was a great disappointment it was gone, but I think that person was in the minority.

“A small block of flats will improve the appearance of Church Lane.”