ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Newport, Wales, and its Civic Centre: monumental Art Deco structure begun in the 1930s

Updated on March 22, 2012
Flag of Wales
Flag of Wales | Source
Newport Civic Centre
Newport Civic Centre | Source
Map location of Newport, Wales
Map location of Newport, Wales | Source

Whose 'fault' was the clock tower?

As with so many things, it was World War Two which 'threw a spanner in the works'. The Civic Centre of Newport (Welsh: Casnewydd ), in Wales's Gwent, was begun in 1937; while yet incomplete, it was inaugurated by King George VI in 1940, but, with the events, upheavals and expenses associated with World War Two, a major feature of today's building was still missing. This feature is the gigantic, 55 metre high clock tower.

So, once World War Two was over, the tower was built?

Well, not exactly. In fact, the tower and thus the Civic Centre building was not completed until 1964. Even then, local politicians squabbled about whether they even wanted it to be built at all. Some wanted the work to be completed; others did not. Those who wanted it prevailed. (But it became increasingly hard to continue to blame World War Two any longer for attempts to delay its completion.)

In any case, together with the symmetrical arching of its south elevation, it is the clock tower that makes for the imposing landmark which visitors to the city can often not fail to see. When I have passed this building, it has been hard to fail to be impressed.

So which politicians were right? This is probably a wrong question to ask now. Better to say, rather that assessments of the imposing building, complete with tower, would range from regarding its as an assertion of local civic confidence, to thinking it is — or was, now, several decades ago — supposedly somewhat of a monument to profligacy with taxpayers' money.

The Civic Centre's architect was T C Howitt (1889-1968)(1), who executed the building in the Art Deco style popular for civic buildings in the earlier part of the 20th century. He thus lived to see the eventual completion of his monumental work, begun nearly three decades previously, but long delayed for various reasons.

The central hall of the Civic Centre is noted for a series of 12, 6metre murals by the artist and sculptor Hans Feibusch (1898-1998). The building includes courtrooms in addition to the mayor's office. Its main entrance is at Godfrey Road, Newport.

Note

(1) Other, distinguished work for which Architect Hewitt was responsible includes Nottingham's Council House.

Also worth seeing

In Newport itself, Newport Castle is a now ruined structure dating from the 14th century; please note that dangers of flooding linked to the proximity of the Usk River (Welsh: Afon Wysg ) limit access to the castle.

...

How to get there: Continental Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport , from where car rental is available. London Heathrow is approximately 204 kilometres from Newport , Gwent. There are fast railroad links between London and Cardiff. Some facilities mentioned may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR

      MJFenn 

      6 years ago

      The red dragon (Welsh: Y Ddraig Goch) is a Medieval Welsh mythical creature and heraldic symbol. (The wyvern is a similar, mythical and heraldic symbol associated with the West of England.) Thank-you for your question.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 

      6 years ago

      So why do the Welsh have a dragon?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)