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Roger Booth, Lancashire County Architect, 1962-83.

Brook, Richard (2018) Roger Booth, Lancashire County Architect, 1962-83. The Journal of the Twentieth Century Society (C20) (13). pp. 130-145. ISSN 1353-1964

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Adjectives such as ‘progressive’, ‘innovative’ and ‘optimistic’ pepper popular historical accounts of the post-war period, no less so in architecture than in other fields. The work of Lancashire County Architect’s Department throughout the 1960s and 1970s could be superficially described using any, and all, of these terms. Without a helmsman, progressive can simply be progress and innovative nought but lip service to conventional change, but Lancashire was blessed in having Roger Booth as its chief architect from 1962 to 1983. Booth’s career has been overlooked to date, particularly when one considers the size of the county and the department he eventually oversaw. Until the structural upheaval following the Local Government Act (1972), the county incorporated Manchester and Liverpool and, whilst the major cities and most county boroughs took care of municipal works within their boundaries, the remainder was under the jurisdiction of County Hall at Preston. Progress and innovation abounded in the largest post-war building programme outside that of the London County Council.

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