IHBC’s ‘Heritage from the doorstep’: Champions of Slough’s iconic Horlicks building lose fight for listed status

buildingThe campaign to secure the listing of Slough’s Horlicks building – its ‘iconic factory’ – has been unsuccessful, reports The Slough Observer.

image: Chris Allen / Horlicks Factory CC BY-SA 2.0

The Slough Observer writes:

Matthew Taylor, 42, an architect of Queens Road, Slough, founded the Preserve Slough’s Horlicks Factory campaign, to have landmark factory declared a listed building by Historic England. Mr Taylor founded the campaign after news that the building had been earmarked for possible development into housing.

Mr Taylor said: ‘A lot of prominent buildings in Slough have vanished over the years – like the Slough Library. And I realised they will keep disappearing if I don’t do something about it, so I set up the campaign to try and get the Horlicks factory listed.’

However, in a detailed report published on Wednesday, Historic England decided against listing the building. They did, however, agree to declare the war memorial on the Horlicks Factory grounds a listed structure. While Historic England agreed that the factory had some ‘good quality detailing’ they said the overall design was too influenced by an earlier factory in America. They also felt the design was ‘old-fashioned’ for its time period and showed no signs of unusual innovation, and that a number of later extensions and upgrades had diluted the building’s character.

The inspector concluded: ‘The Horlicks Factory is impressive in its scale, and a local landmark, and has some fine interiors, but in architectural, technological, process and historic terms in a national context it does not meet the criteria for statutory listing.’

Mr Taylor said: ‘As an architect, I do understand that they have their procedures to follow – but there does seem to be quite a heavy focus on the lack of innovation, which is a big part of their conclusion. The building is an important example of Slough’s industrial past, and being close to the railway, it was a sign for many workers that they were home.’

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