Preston Council’s latest bid to destroy the city’s sole building of international note has yours truly jumping for joy.
Joy I tells you!
Not that my regard for Preston Bus Station has in any way diminished since this column was last used to mock those dismal louts who have been demanding its demolition ever since the Duke of Westminster put them in his pocket as part of the Tithebarn Circus.
The hilariously-doomed-from-day-one farce which successfully stalled any meaningful development for a decade.
The scam which got away, apparently designed solely for the purpose of moving Preston’s retail centre about 100 yards north in order to turn said Duke’s peripheral holdings into the city’s most lucrative sod.
A rolling shambles endorsed by most of the shower still dampening the council chamber with their presence, and pushed along by their unelected civil service masters (your Carr is waiting – for his laughable legacy).
The same basically untrustworthy gaggle – on this particular issue, after a decade and more of half-cocked spin, only the truly guileless will lend credence to their latest ‘independent’ justifications – behind this latest attack on our built environment.
And it is with this latter truth in mind that one feels aforementioned joy should be unconfined.
For once again these yahoos will have to publicly make their case against the only piece of architecture in Preston which can fairly be described as among the finest examples of its type – brutalism, widely unloved (like Marmite or BBC 4) but no less valid for that – in Britain (the Harris Library, for example, fine an edifice as it undoubtedly is, would not likely figure among any objective critic’s top 10 neo-classical structures of northern England. And the less said about Preston’s dull ecclesiastical infrastructure the better).
Remember Rankin on Radio 4? Norris on breakfast telly? Priceless. Seldom can such lofty local figures have been exposed as so essentially backwater in outlook and taste than when this pair were asked to explain their barbarianism before a national audience. How we all laughed.
Once again those who value this building will find ready platforms from which to remind Preston people why this genuinely unique structure merits their affection, and to raise yet further its burgeoning global profile.
And once again, best of all, the would-be wreckers WILL fail.
As noted earlier, these are the people who brought you Tithebarn AKA zilch zip zero. Failure is their stock-in trade. It’s what they do.
Their threadbare financial case will be picked apart by January. Their arrogant disregard for public opinion will sicken thousands anew.
Their failure will, as ever, be joyous to behold.