Coal House/Council House, Doncaster

Built in the mid-1960’s as the Headquarters of the South Yorkshire area of the National Coal Board.

Coal House was “designed” by the infamous architect John Poulson who was later jailed for corruption along with the leader of Newcastle Council T Dan Smith in a scandal that also forced the resignation of the Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling. Poulson was also responsible for many other local authority and nationalised industry buildings in the 60’s, such as Leeds international Swimming Pool…shame he saved his best work for other places.

As a 16/17 year old, this was my usual view of Coal House as I made my way to school…pitched battles between the striking miners and the coppers and a daily interrogation as to where I was going dressed in my school uniform 🙄

After the decimation of the South Yorkshire coalfield (from around 30 collieries down to just one), the building passed to Doncaster Council who imaginatively renamed it as “The Council House”.

Doncaster Council have now got themselves a nice, shiny new set of offices and so the Council House is getting ready for demo so we thought it would be rude not to take a look. After a couple of abortive attempts where it was just too much of a stretch, things eventually fell into place…

(As someone better than me once said…if it’s shite, make it black and white!)

The Magistrates Court and police station next door (for all you Brutalist fans out there, these are by Gibberd who did the Catholic cathedral in Liverpool)

New theatre in the foreground and new council offices just behind

Thanks for looking!

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