My career with Stone, Toms and Partners started in 1970. And I was chucked in the deep end!

"Design an office block quick, clients coming in tomorrow, here's the OS map of the location, you don't need to see the site, Russ will show you what to do".....and that was it. It was before the time of ODP's  (the dreaded office development permits introduced by the Labour Government to try and curb the profusion of offices that sprung up everywhere in the 60's and 70's) and developers were having a glorious time!

The site was Wednesbury Road in Walsall. Someone had come up with the clever  idea of finding churches on decent size plots. Then, knocking them down, building a new (tiny) church and constructing an office block on the rest of the site to fund it. No listing in those days, so get rid of Victorian church - no worries! Places like Walsall desperate for offices and the prospect of employment. And architects like us chucking them up like there was no tomorrow! Specification? Build 'em cheap! Single glazing, no insulation, 10 foot floot to floor heights, minimal central heating, no false ceilings and a few power points. No word processors, just manual typewriters, and a filing cabinet or two.

So it was out with the AJ, check out the latest cool office design and down to work with the Rapidograph.

And here is the design:-

and the reality!

Well, I thought the entrance and lavatories were quite trendy at the time, although my yellow and orange lifts were a bit sick making!:-

Ans so much for creating employment - it became the offices for Walsall DHSS!

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