Context 165 - August 2020

54 C O N T E X T 1 6 5 : A U G U S T 2 0 2 0 of France, and I’ll go for a couple of churches by my favourite Victorian/Edwardian church architect, Temple Moore. Both dedicated to St Columba, they are in Middlesbrough (1900–01) and Scarborough (design 1914, built posthumously 1924–26), and both are built of cheap red brick. They are essays in surprising, austere, stripped-back gothic which depends entirely on its massing and not on ornament or colour, as might have been the case in mid-Victorian times. As for a pub, the choice is a predictable one: the Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool (c1900), the first Victorian pub to get a Grade I listing (in February this year), and a truly spectacular display of pub furnishing from the pinnacle of the golden age of pub building. What other interests do you have? Cinema, especially silent films and classics from the best of American and European work. Also opera of all periods, and arranging events and visits for the Victorian Society and other bodies. It’s a great sadness to me that all these things have been curtailed in the flesh by the coronavirus catastrophe. What are some of your favourites? In these dark times, I would opt for a few heart-warming film comedy classics. From the UK, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Ladykillers (1955), Billy Liar (1963). From the USA, anything by that supreme genius Buster Keaton, then Twentieth Century (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936), My Girl Friday (1940). On the operatic front: anything by Handel, Purcell or Mozart, with the latter’s Don Giovanni topping my list. What are your favourite places? I would pick four which give a thrill simply to be there: Venice (of course); Edinburgh New Town; Wengen, amid the mountains of the Bernese Oberland; and a remote beach somewhere on Crete. What organisations are you a member of? Ancient Monuments Society, British Archaeological Association, Campaign for Real Ale, Ecclesiological Society, Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, Mausolea and Monuments Trust, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, Twentieth Century Society, Victorian Society. Geoff Brandwood (who took the three photos here) writes on page 25 about how pubs have changed over the past 60 years St Columba, Middlesbrough: cheap red brick The Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool, the pinnacle of the golden age and the first Victorian pub to get a Grade I listing