I hate it….

…when I’m right. Just under a year ago I predicted

a mysterious fire followed by demolition.

for the Jabez Cliff works, a rather nice, but unlisted building in a conservation zone in Walsall. I speculated that the decision to demolish was already made, and that the building would go, following this statement from Adrian Andrew, quoted in my post at the time:

If it is a new building it would have to be an iconic building. It is a fantastic opportunity for someone to come in and do something special in Walsall.

Mere speculation on my part, you understand- unless I have developed telepathy. The mysterious fire was hardly needed this time (though one might wonder if the cost of the civic arson consultants is less direct cost than normal demolition), as this building wasn’t even listed, not that that makes the slightest difference in this town. Fuck it, it’s only our heritage and history, and we can soon throw up another identikit building on the site. Regeneration in action.

For me, this article from Tuesday’s Express and Star says it all:

E+S Article

From the Express and Star, Tuesday 16 August 2011 Click for a larger version

I don’t think this will change the proposal for the health centre as that needed demolition anyway.

In other words, local listing or not, conservation area or not, it was always going to be demolished. This just saves any awkward questions.

For further comment on this, please see both BrownhillsBob and The Plastic Hippo.

3 Responses to “I hate it….”

  1. Kipping Says:

    Pity they couldn’t have torched the Overstrand about 20 years ago!
    It is about time that a law was introduced to insist on rebuilding such listed buildings to their original condition after such a fire – that would make insurance arsonists a less profitable activity

  2. stymaster Says:

    Sadly, the factory wasn’t listed, but I like your thinking.

  3. The Illuminations Says:

    Memories of that building include The Carpenter’s Shop where Hilson Carter and his team renovated furniture for needy families and supplied a houseful of necessary furnitures for previously homeless households. (1995 – 2000(ish))
    Not really bothered about change because if you look at history ~ change is inevitable. But history is a treasure and detail can easily be lost. The real question? Will Walsall gain anything from this incident/episode?