The Tricorn Centre

I found myself in Portsmouth one sunny afternoon, taking my new MGF in for yet more warranty repairs. Fortunately, I got rid of the wretched thing now! Anyway, back to the plot: to make a virtue of necessity, I decided to make a small detour and take some pix of the aging Tricorn Centre. Hailed at the time as ‘the future of British shopping’ it’s an enormous, late 60’s concrete structure in the middle of town.

Everyone seems to worry about getting old but I can remember when they built the thing. I understand that it won awards at the time but now its derelict – the city authorities not sure whether to pull it down or make it a ‘listed building’. ‘Group hugs’ all round no doubt!

Anyway, whilst snapping away at this deserted, peculiarly English genre of inner city decay, I caught sight of roughly four horizontal metres of sprayed lettering that read ‘SAVE DA TRICON CENTA INNIT’. Seems it’s not just nerdy architect types banging on about how the concrete work is in the style of Corbusier that want to save this quirky piece of modern English history. It’s a slightly scary place full of strange architectural features and even more strange graffiti. This makes it a very addictive environment for a died-in-the wool photo-junkie such as me.


Eventually, after nearly two hours of ignoring the misspelt ‘Keep Out’ signs, a grossly overweight old duffer in a security guard’s uniform oozed out of a shagged-out Ford and politely asked me to leave. I obliged – scuttling back to my illegally parked courtesy car with 300 high-resolution images already ‘on the chip’.

Weird thing to admit but I like these pictures of urban decay. Nevertheless, I guess that the Tricorn will not be saved and that soon demolition will commence in order to make way for something even more ghastly but much less photogenic.

  • Editor’s note: this article and images were imported from our old Coppermine media gallery

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