There’s no doubt about it: the world is changing, and for the better. The Russians have orbited the moon, The Spencer Davis Group are topping the charts, and Harold Wilson is back in for a second term. But locally? Open your copy of the Cornishman, folks, and see what you shall see.
Thanks to MP John Nott, there will be flights from St Just all the way to London from June. Brian Poole and the Tremeloes are coming to the Old Barn out at Eastern Green – but it’s not just entertainment down there. Finn’s Fine Shoes are taking on extra staff and are interested in anyone who can work a power sewing machine: Singer or Pfaff type, either will serve.
You’ll already have seen that work has started on the building site just up the road from the Morrab Gardens. In fact, most of you probably remember the old cinema, the Regal – it only closed three years ago. And if you happen to have a Victorian grand-dad tucked away, he might be able to tell you about the meetings at the old Central Hall, before cinemas were even thought of. Perhaps you’ve heard rumours about what it’s going to be, there on that empty patch of ground, amidst all those little paths and terraces. Turn to page 5, readers, and find out more…
Six storeys? Of government office? Right next to the Morrab Gardens? Can that be right? That’s an awful lot of offices. But read on – there’s the Inland Revenue coming in; the National Assistance Board; Ministry of Labour; Ministry of Pensions. It’ll be the place to come to with all your questions and worries: one building full of staff waiting to answer every query, meet every need, all your working life and beyond.
It won’t be granite. A modern building needs modern materials – and anyway, the state the country’s been in, the government can’t run to granite these days. So we’re getting – look, here it is in black and white: “a reinforced concrete frame with pre-cast exposed aggregate panels”. You can’t keep progress at bay. A few pages on ( just above the advert for the cycling race promoted by the makers of Senior Service and Benson and Hedges) shop-keepers are being told about another modern invention to make life smoother and easier, called a Barclaycard. And the new tellies Taylors are advertising will receive channels with both 405 and the new 625 lines.
Anyway, all the old fuddy-duddies who might protest against the new building are busy campaigning against the new old folks’ centre they want to build in the Gardens themselves. They won’t even notice the new building until it’s up above tree level. There won’t be a squeak of protest.
And strangely, there barely will be.
Cornishman 23rd April 1966 pages 5, 6 and 8