Googie in England

00:17:00 MoonDoggie 6 Comments

Back from York (which was lovely, by the way) and I think I may have actually found some English Googie!

Driving up the A1, I spotted this gorgeous but seemingly unloved 'Little Chef' restaurant and shouted "Googie!", which I then had to explain to my passengers. I actually thought the restaurant had closed down because it looked quite dilapidated. On the way back, Dave was able to get a pretty good shot of it considering we didn't stop, and found that it WAS still in use.

Apparently there had been a bid to save the Markham Moor Little Chef from destruction a few years ago, which was thankfully successful. I found some more information here. The architect was Sam Scorer who originally designed the building as a petrol station and it was only turned into a diner about 1990.

There aren't too many images of Scorer's other work but here is a church he designed - St John the Baptist in Lincoln.

A fantastic interior of the church can be seen here.

So what do you think? Googie or not googie?


  1. Oh so Googie! You did it - you found Googie in England!

    I'm no expert, so someone may disagree with me, but sure looks Googie to me. Check out on of the new links I've posted on the left sidebar of my blog - highlights Googie architecture.

  2. The roof on that gas station/restaurant is great! Seems like Googie to me.
    I also looked at the interior of that church and I was quite impressed! Of course, the panoramic shot gives it an additional kick...

  3. This is excellent Googie -- thanks for expanding our catalog of examples and architects. It relates to the Esso gas station by Albert Frey in Palm Springs, and the Orbit gas station chain in California. Both are hyperbolic paraboloids, the former is steel frame, the latter concrete. What would you say is the construction of this -- looks like thin shell concrete.

  4. OH MY GOD! Alan Hess commented on your blog! *bowing down to MoonDoggie*
    *wondering how the H3LL she got Hess to check out her blog!*

  5. No problem Alan - I'm glad I actually found an example. :)

    Which construction are you thinking of? When you get close up, it seems like the restaurant roof has peeling paint so I would guess some kind of concrete?

    If you do a search in flickr for 'Markham Moor', there are a few close up shots which should give you a better idea.

    Tikimama - stay cool ;)

  6. Hi from England. We used to constantly travel the A1 to visit girlfriends relatives in Yorkshire when we lived in London a while back. Always made sure to stop at this place on our way home. It's one of my favourite buildings ever, and I would class it Mid-Century Modern tending to Googie. Sadly most folks in the UK fail to appreciate stuff like this, infuriatingly preferring olde world style stuff, so most new housing is built in a kitsch pastiche of old styles, funny how the same people only want the newest and most up to date cars/TVs etc!!! p.s. the food wasn't great but the building made up for it!!! and yes the roof is a concrete shell.