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Restore, not replace, Whitby’s architectural heritage

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I was disappointed to see a further letter from the Rev John Theobald (Gazette, July 6) calling for the replacement of the bus shelter outside the Costcutter shop.

Disappointed, because I thought that we had moved on from the attitude of ‘It’s old, so it needs to go’ - the attitude which has inflicted so much damage on our towns, cities and railways over recent decades.

The shelter in question is one of a handful of its type surviving in the Whitby area.

They are strongly constructed in green-painted metal and display a definite 1930s aesthetic with rounded corners and horizontally oriented glazing which might make you think of the classic telephone kiosk designed by Giles Gilbert Scott.

To the outer edges of the glazing are narrower, vertical frames filled with metal, perhaps recalling the ‘marginal’ glazing sometimes employed in the late Georgian and Regency eras.

The mullions may look like plain castings, but a closer look reveals them to be fluted and crowned by slightly projecting rectangular blocks: a modernist interpretation of a Doric pilaster.

The flat roof is stepped back from the frame in three shallow planes and also shows radiused corners.

Some sensitive design and proportion has gone into these unassuming structures; in a modest way they are part of our architectural heritage, and I for one should be sorry to see them removed.

Fortunately, however, the question does not arise as North Yorkshire Council, the responsible authority, states on its website that it will repair existing bus shelters but not erect new ones.

Politically, this is a consequence of the government’s punitive cuts to council funding, but aesthetically it might be a benevolent dispensation of Providence.

Tony Mungovin

Union Road

Whitby