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Report - - British Home Stores, Crewe - November 2020 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - British Home Stores, Crewe - November 2020


GRONK

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
November 2020

The Visit
I have had my eye on this one for a good number of years now, being a local lad I have spent a lot of time in Crewe town centre over the years. The inevitable demolition of this building has been on the cards for as long as I can remember. The site has had 24 hour secca on it for a couple of years now (possibly in response to someone getting on the roof back in 2018 :rolleyes:), so it has been difficult to see everything. However demolition has recently started on other parts of the building with security being relaxed as a result of this, so I saw my opportunity and went for it. I initially got into the BHS unit and spent a good few hours exploring the three floors and roof eventually making my way along the roof and in to the Gaffers Row Pub which I wasn't expecting to be able to visit.

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[0] - H Bullock & Son​


History
On 24th April 1956 the foundation stone of what was to become the town of Crewe's Royal Arcade Shopping Centre, the stone was ceremoniously laid by the Mayor Thomas Talbot. Plans for the shopping complex date as far back as the 1930s and provision was made in the Crewe Corporation Act of 1938, this Act received Royal Assent in June 1938 but work did not start until the mid-1950s due to the outbreak of war in 1939. By this time the local council had entered into a contract with a development company called Ravenseft Properties Ltd who specialised in post-war redevelopment who oversaw the development of the building which was done is several phases through the mid-50s and 60s. Over the last 60 years businesses have come and gone with the complex consisting of around 50 different units in total, the largest of these units was home to the Crewe branch of British Home Stores (BHS) which opened in the late 1959 and continued to trade until 2016 when the company entered liquidation and subsequently closed.

In the mid-2000s plans were announced to demolish the Royal Arcade site and neighbouring Bus Station and transform the area into a modern shopping and leisure destination, however these plans for later be postponed as a result of the global recession, however in recent years these plans were revisited by Cheshire East Council who 13 years after demolition was originally have now approved and commenced clearing the site for redevelopment. Following the closure of BHS in 2016 the unit has sat empty and shuttered ever since. Demolition work has now begun on the complex with all tenants having been evicted slowly over the last few years, the unit has remained relatively untouched since its closure with contractors just starting to remove asbestos from the roof space at the time of my visit.


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Cheers for looking :thumb
Canon EOS 70D, 10-18mm EFS​
 

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Bloody el I spent weeks putting steelwork in the Bedford one last year & it looked identical when we started!
 

raisinwing

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Shame that all of this lot is coming down, much prefer it's architecture to the "modern" stuff that is going to replace it. Currently got a few parts of the new development on my desk, not exactly an inspiring thing.

What's happening with the clock tower?
 

GRONK

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Shame that all of this lot is coming down, much prefer it's architecture to the "modern" stuff that is going to replace it.

What's happening with the clock tower?
it is indeed, being replaced by featureless concrete boxes. I believe the clock is being knocked down as well. I saw yesterday that you the faces and bells have been given to the local museum so at least they will survive.
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice report. Always feels good to get into somewhere youve had your eye on for yrs. I waited around 15 yrs for 2 locals near me, still one to go now 18 yrs lol
 

coolboyslim

Mr Reality Hacker
28DL Full Member
nice matey matey and great having a yap over crimbo :-)
 

GRONK

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Just adding a few more photos from a more recent visit of the areas I wasn't originally able to cover. :)

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[16] - Staff Break Room

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[17] - Manager's Office

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[18] - General/ Cash Office

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[19] - General/ Cash Office

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[20]

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[22] - Ladies Toilet​
 
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