I was interested to read what Andrew Hollyer wrote about in the Derbyshire Times regarding the black and white buildings in Chesterfield. (Read Andrew Hollyer’s letter here.) There were more when they were first erected than there is now. On Knifesmithgate was the Queen’s Head, then the Victoria buildings and the Co-op. They are on Holywell Street, and down Lordsmill Street. There is another site, which was a or still is, a wedding shop which was Kirbys Electrical many years ago. I do believe and I stand to be corrected, Swallows was the design in the late 1950s on the corner of Burlington Street and Packers’ Row. The person who was responsible for the introduction of this design was the then town clerk Parker Morris. It was his vision to have Chesterfield looking the same all over and the odd building was erected with the full intention that eventually all Chesterfield —or most of it — would look the same. Alas his dream never matured and he left his town clerk job for a similar status somewhere down south. However he is best remembered for his design standard of council housing which became the standard for all of the country’s council houses, and called The Parker Morris Standard. I think he was knighted for his work in this field.
Regarding the buildings in Chesterfield, the Queen’s Head did have dates on the guttering relating to the 1920s and on the Victoria buildings. I often wondered if the gargoyles were just faces or represented anything or any one in particular. If any one knows anything more about them please tell us.
Buxton Avenue, Heanor