As with so many other cities around the world, London embraced Art Deco with an astounding vigour, which was to define many London skylines and districts. Despite the ravages of war and the subsequent post-war redevelopment London is home to an enormous range and quantity of truly outstanding buildings of all types from factories, garages, stations, hotels, apartment blocks and houses to offices, churches, palaces and cinemas.
Join Mike Hope, Art and Design specialist and Art Deco enthusiast, on this special weekend where you will visit some of the well-known and not so well-known Art Deco monuments of London. Visits will be supported by two lectures, 'Art Deco an international style in context' and 'Art Deco Art & Design in the UK 1925-39'.
A Checklist of buildings
Firestone Tyre Factory
Wallis, Gilbert and Partners 1929 (Demolished 1980).
What little vestigial remains (some stairs, lighting and metalwork comprising the gates and entrances) are left, are a sad memorial to what was one of the most iconic Art Deco buildings in Britain.
Pyrene Fire Extinguisher Company Factory
Wallis, Gilbert and Partners 1929-30.
The building has had a name change, to Westlink House. It is a reinforced concrete structure and a classic example of Moderne style.
Wallis, Gilbert and Partners c.1932.
Now Softsel Computers. It is yet another classic white reinforced concrete Moderne style building.
FE Simkins 1935.
Sir Banister Fletcher 1937.
Really this building acts as the full stop to the run of factories along the Great West Road. The tall clock tower acts a landmark. The future of this large and very valuable site is still uncertain.
Wallis Gilbert and Partners 1937.
FE Simkins 1932.
Now Rank Audiovisual.
George Warren 1936 and Wallis Gilbert and Partners 1938-42.
This building is now part of Glaxo Smithcline.
Robert Sharp 1932.
The Hoover Building
Wallis Gilbert and Partners 1931-5.
Since the demise of the Firestone building in 1980, this wonderful structure has become the iconic Art Deco building in Britain. Its Egyptian style, which is most evident in the stylised entrances, is spectacular. The white reinforced concrete (the concrete was known as Snowcrete and was sold as being able to stay white despite the British climate!) structure is balanced by the green painted metal window frames. All of this acts as a foil to the centrally placed entrance, which has stylised Egyptian decoration made of coloured faience tiles. The small building to the right was originally built as a canteen for the factory. The front of the building has been preserved and used as offices, whilst the rear is now a Tesco superstore.
Osterley Park Tube Station
Charles Holden with SA Heaps 1934.
For once, not a circular station building, but an oblong box which is graced with a 70ft tower complete with a lit finial. The use of brick throughout, with stone and concrete detailing and metal framed windows, is classic period London Underground.
Lt. Col G Val Myer, RIBA and Watson Hart 1931-32.
External Sculptures are by Eric Gill, Ariel being the most famous. Interiors were designed by Wells Coates, Serge Chermayeff, Raymond McGrath and others. This Portland Stone clad building with its irregular shape has become synonomous with the BBC News.
Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.
You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day.
For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation.
If you have a problem with your room please alert your tour manager and/or hotel management as soon as possible to either rectify the problem or change your room. It is often possible to resolve a problem very quickly if we are made aware of it - impossible to do so after the event.
PLEASE NOTE: transport to and from the hotel is NOT included
LUGGAGE TO YOUR HOTEL
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890
On departure, please ensure that you have paid for any extras such as drinks, telephone calls etc
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ealing, London
Located on the outskirts of Central London, the four-star Crowne Plaza Ealing Hotel offers a restaurant, bar, gym and comfortable, contemporary designed bedrooms with private bath/shower, air-conditioning, TV and telephone. Car parking is available at the hotel costing £13.50 per night, payable directly to the hotel.
Crowne Plaza Ealing Hotel Website
Day 1: Arrive independently at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ealing from 15.00. This evening there will be a welcome drink, dinner with wine and an introductory talk by Mike Hope – ‘Art Deco - an international style in context’.
Day 2: We spend today exploring metropolitan Art Deco delights travelling between West London and the centre of the city. We will see the iconic Hoover building, designed by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners and built for The Hoover Company in 1933, Osterley Park tube station, the ‘Golden Mile’ of the Great West Road constructed in 1925 and rapidly lined with factories, many of which were in the Art Deco style, the Royal Institutes of British Architects headquarters at 66 Portland Place, the BBC’s 1930s Broadcasting House; Florin Court, a residential building in Smithfield where Poirot was filmed, Carreras Cigarette Factory, Savoy Hotel and Fleet Street for the old headquarters of the Telegraph and the Express. This evening there will be a lecture by Mike Hope - ‘Art Deco Art and Design in the UK 1925-39’ and dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 3: Today we focus on South-East London starting the day with a visit to the magnificent Eltham Palace, the unoccupied royal residence that was the childhood home of Henry VIII. In the 1930s, Stephen and Virginia Courtland built a modern house attached to the remains of the palace creating, internally, one of the finest examples of the Art Deco style in England. We will also visit: St John’s Church, Eltham, the current building of which was constructed in 1875 by St Arthur Blomfield in the Victorian Gothic Revival style; and Croydon Aerodrome which was built as one of a number of small airfields protecting London from Zeppelin raids during World War I. The Grade II listed terminal building and entrance lodge were built in the late 1920’s in a Neoclassic geometric style. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.
Please note: Extra nights are available at a supplement, please click here or on the availability tab above to select the date of travel and extra night rates.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion. Visits are a mixture of internal and external visits (many are public buildings) as time and traffic conditions allow. Most of the interest lies in the architecture which is best appreciated externally.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 30 passengers.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.
Over the years, Travel Editions has developed and diversified its range of escorted tours to include rail tours, air tours, history tours, Christmas tours and even specialist interest tours that have specific appeal for walkers, foodies, art lovers, music addicts and flower enthusiasts. From enjoying wonderful walks and tasty local cuisine in Crete to visiting the art nouveau buildings of Milan and exploring the architectural gems of the Netherlands, Travel Editions creates amazing tours to suit every budget and interest.
As rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, the company has carefully developed nearly 30 exciting escorted rail tours that include trips to France, Spain, Brussels, Arnhem, Luxembourg and the Italian Riviera. Travel Editions believes that the journey becomes part of the holiday, and is why this specialist tour operator also offers a range of tours by air, such as Delphi and Mount Pelion in Greece, the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and Paphos, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Whatever the escorted tour or the destination, Travel Editions provides holidays that are packed full of cultural and historic treasures, as well as plenty of free time to relax and soak up the local atmosphere and the regional food and wine.
One of the best things about Travel Editions is that the team can tailor-make all tours to your group’s budget and specification, be it shopping till you drop in New York or tasting the most delicious gastronomic delights of Sicily. Not only can the activities be tailored to meet your requirements but so can the travel options, hotel selection (three, four or five-star hotel) and the whole itinerary. Alternatively, you can simply pick one of the many carefully curated escorted tours listed on the Travel Editions website.
In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.
Travel Editions is passionate about delivering a personal service every step of the way, and its team of experts will arrange your holiday with minimum fuss and maximum effort. Customer service and attention to detail are at the heart of everything they do, plus you will always be treated as an individual and get the benefit of affordable prices by travelling as a group. Another bonus is that Travel Editions is ABTA and ATOL protected, which means your money and your holiday will be protected from the moment you book.
In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.