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The Friday Five 04.11.22

Published on: 4 Nov 2022


Location: Jersey

The job: “We have the opportunity for curious individuals to join the Government of Jersey development control function on a fixed term contract basis. You will have the opportunity to undertake a portfolio of work which is unprecedented in variety without making the traditional decisions associated with a relocation.

“We are an island of constant change and continuing modernisation with a need for forward-thinking individuals to join a busy development control function and play a part in major infrastructure projects currently underway. The work we undertake is diverse and currently on our table is a new hospital, a waterfront development and an Island wide urgent housing need. The new Bridging Island Plan, was approved in March 2022, and now underpins our work.

“This role represents an opportunity to make a real difference. One with less bureaucracy, an agile and autonomous Government working at pace to deliver real change, the ability to shape policy and the opportunity to have real influence on outcomes.

“Undertaking a 17-month fixed contract you can enjoy your time on Island discovering exactly what Jersey has to offer – a bustling town, beautiful beaches, fabulous heritage and Michelin starred restaurants all mixed in with minimal commute, great work life balance and sunshine. This role can also be undertaken on a permanent basis for those wishing to relocate to the Island.”

Jersey St Helier high street [square]Fun fact: Though it’s been in decline for more than a century, the Channel Island of Jersey retains its traditional language, Jèrriais, which is – remarkably – a form of Norman French. Its closest relatives include, unsurprisingly, Guernésiais (spoken in Guernsey) and Sercquiais (spoken in Sark), as well as local languages spoken across northern France.

In the 19th century it was the everyday language for most of the population and even as late as the Second World War, half the population of Jersey spoke Jèrriais. This proved particularly useful as a ‘secret’ language that was unintelligible to both the island’s German occupiers and their French interpreters.

Nowadays, fewer than one in five of the population can speak some Jèrriais, with much of the language knowledge concentrated among the island’s older citizens. The States of Jersey (the island’s Parliament) now funds teaching programme in schools and more Jèrriais signage is appearing.

Usually described as Romance language, Jèrriais is not strictly speaking French, but rather Norse ‘adapted’ to the family of French languages spoken across northern France in the late Medieval period. It contains a good number of words of Norse origins, such as mielle (sand dune), mauve (seagull) and gradile (blackcurrant). There are a good number of more recent English borrowings, too.

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Location: Malvern, Worcestershire and Monmouth, Monmouthshire

The job: “Are you a planning, landscape or design professional with a passion for landscape, nature and cultural heritage? Do you want to use this expertise to help to conserve and enhance two outstanding designated landscapes and to help those who live, visit or work in these areas to understand why they are so special?

“You will be working within the Malvern Hills and Wye Valley AONB Units, small friendly teams of diverse specialists which support partnerships of local authorities with land in the AONBs, Defra, Natural England and organisations representing farming, forestry and community interests.

“You will help to deliver the statutory management plans for these AONBs, taking a lead on all planning matters, both development management and strategic. You will need strong and effective relationships with a range of external partners including local authority councillors and officers, developers, community groups and colleagues from other protected landscapes.”

Pipe organ, Manchester Cathedral [square]Fun fact: A cathedral isn’t really a cathedral without a great big pipe organ, right? Or a priory, an oratory or, frankly, a local church. There are an impressive 35,000 such instruments on the National Pipe Organ Register and an increasing number are being given historic listings by the British Institute of Organ Studies.

As you might imagine, pipe organ manufacturer tend to be old and august businesses and one of them – Nicholson & Co – is based in Malvern. Indeed Nicholson, which made the organs for Malvern Priory and Manchester Cathedral among many others, in 2013 completed the first wholly new instrument in a British cathedral since 1962 at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.
The firm has its origins in the work of Richard Nicholson in early 19th century Rochdale but was formally founded by his son John in Worcester in 1841. Nicholson’s didn't actually arrive in Malvern until the 1950s. By this time the company had supplied instruments to hundreds of parish churches across England and Scotland and shipped others as far afield as China, Australia and New Zealand.

The company is also associated with a number of technical innovations and conducts restorations as well as new-builds – but always with an eye on the principles of its founder. Its website states that “New instruments are characterised by clear, English choruses that John Nicholson would recognise and affirm, combined with warm Romantic colours that together make organs that are vivid and beautiful to the eye and the ear.” Sounds lovely.

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Location: London

The job: “Kensington and Chelsea is a unique place, home to places of great cultural importance and diverse communities. We have unmatched built heritage sitting alongside iconic retail centres, a vibrant specialist employment market, an international medical quarter and world class cultural attractions. We also have many challenges facing us. We’re not only home to the wealthy but also to some of the most deprived wards in London.

“Sitting within the development management service, you will be an important and highly valued member of a dynamic and ambitious team and responsible for leading a team of planning officers in determining planning applications and providing planning advice.

“You will be responsible for growing and developing your team through a dedicated programme of training and development in line with our learning and development commitment. You will attend planning committee, lead member briefings and advise councillors, other council departments and external stakeholders on planning matters. You will also help shape our planning service, implement changes, and be committed to continuous improvements to service delivery.”

Trellick Tower [square]Fun fact: Amid all the architectural glamour and grandeur of Kensington and Chelsea, which includes great museums, embassies, magnificent private houses and prestige department stores, the Brutalist Trellick Tower is one of its most striking buildings.

Commissioned by the greater London Council in the 1960s, it was the last major project of the great Modernist architect Ernő Goldfinger and opened in 1972 – by which time tastes were shifting and high-rise blocks were falling out of favour. It quickly gained a bleak reputation as a magnet for crime, drugs and prostitution, but since the 1980s has cleaned up its act under the guidance of residents’ association and has now become a desirable place to live – although still mostly social housing, its private flats are in high demand.

Let’s get to it. The story goes that Goldfinger designed the tower freehand on butcher’s paper. It was based partly on his earlier Balfron Tower in East London, which had been considered a success (and where Goldfinger himself lived for a time). The design included communal areas, shops, an office and a youth centre. Each apartment is slightly different and all have large windows facing balconies , so as to let in as much natural light as possible. Innovative space-saving features include sliding doors in flat interiors and light switches embedded in door surrounds. And the whole thing was constructed with high-quality materials because it was felt that social housing should also have high standards. This idealism extended to the philosophy behind building towers, which, Goldfinger, said, “free the ground for children and grown-ups to enjoy Mother Earth”.

Even so, Trellick Tower quickly became a byword for urban blight – in part because the local council balked at Goldfinger’s own petitions for tenants to be vetted and for security and a concierge to be provided. A concierge and better security finally arrived in the 1980s with a new residents’ association which took on management of the building in the 1990s. Nowadays, it’s highly regarded, has a grade II* listing and is considered by some to be a London icon.
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Location: Birmingham, West Midlands

The job: “This is an excellent opportunity to join a leading nationwide consultancy. We are looking for enthusiastic and talented planners to join our team. With over 240 planning specialists providing a nationwide service, covering every sector and area in the UK, our geographical reach and expertise in all areas of land use allows us to combine sector-leading expertise with detailed local knowledge to identify solutions to the most complex and challenging planning projects. 

“We are a multi-disciplinary consultancy with sectors in architectural design, education, energy, estate regeneration and affordable housing, heritage and townscape, leisure, infrastructure, retail and more!”

Odeon Covent Garden [square]Fun fact: Oscar Deutsch. You know Oscar Deutsch, right? The cinema guy. ODEON - Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation. Well, anyway, he was born in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, in 1893 and opened the first ODEON cinema in Perry Barr, Birmingham, in 1930. By the time of his death in 1941, there were 258 Odeon cinemas throughout Britain, 142 of them specially built (and a good number noted for their architecture).

Oscar was actually born the son of a Hungarian emigré, Leopold, who was a scrap metal merchant. Oscar initially worked for his father but by 1925 was making income from renting cinemas in Wolverhampton and Coventry. In 1928 he opened his own cinema in Brierley Hill, Dudley, and formed the ODEON company.

In theory, ODEON is an acronym for Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation. It’s a clever piece of marketing. Odeons were amphitheatres in ancient Greece (the word means ‘a place for singing’) and the term Nickelodoeon had been used for small cinemas in the United States since the late 19th century. Cinemas in parts of Europe were also commonly referred to as Odeons – but their owners didn’t have the initials OD.

Odeon cinemas were bought by Rank after Deutsch’s death from cancer in 1941 but the company and brand continued to expand nationally and internationally. Nowadays, despite the ruptures caused by the Covid pandemic, the Odeon name continues to be an integral part of the UK’s cinema scene.

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Location: Winchester, Hants

The job: “Hampshire Countryside Service is seeking highly skilled, self-motivated individuals to join its countryside planning team. The team has a wide programme of work, which includes acting as the Countryside Service consultee to Hampshire's planning authorities, ensuring high quality and sustainable development in respect to Hampshire's countryside interests, including the Public Right of Way network, country parks, nature reserves, and farms, amongst others.

“The successful candidates will play pivotal, professional roles as a countryside planning officer and a countryside planning support officer. Each will be responsible for their own caseload, mutually supported by the team. They will both provide a key role in planning responses, development management and legal agreements, providing a planning service for Hampshire Countryside Service.

“The post holders will use their awareness to proactively identify and develop opportunities to protect, improve, access, and enhance Hampshire's countryside using the planning system and their skills in communication. They will be active in the team's forward-looking creative improvements to working methods, embracing an open and creative culture to boost the service performance, efficiency, and wellbeing.”

King Alfred statue [square]Fun fact: Here’s an interesting thing: the Anglo-Saxon city of Winchester has a grid-based street pattern which was allegedly devised by King Alfred the Great as a defensive measure when Wessex was under threat from Vikings.

This 9th-century street plan remains more or less intact today in the city’s historic centre around the cathedral. Alfred also constructed earthworks around the city’s walls to support the defence of his capital and the base from which he went on to create the first concept of ‘England’ as a singular nation from the assorted kingdoms of the Saxon period.

Alfred also oversaw the fortification of many other towns and boroughs throughout Wessex and even oversaw restoration of parts of London (from Queenhithe to Billingsgate on the north bank of the Thames) after taking it back from the Vikings in 886.

Before we get too excited about Alfred perhaps being the father of town planning in England or Britain, consider that Winchester had been a Roman town built on an earlier Celtic settlement. The Roman street pattern was even more rigidly grid-like than Alfred’s, although it had been lost by Alfred’s time. The Romans favoured the grid not least because it was a replicable standard that could be applied anywhere throughout the Empire (rather like modern housing...). Alfred’s grid was built partly on the pre-existing Roman one (thus, one can see that it would be convenient) but, according to some sources, with defence in mind. We suppose the case would be that longer, straighter streets allow for clear sightlines and perhaps also greater ease of movement of warriors and weapons around the city. In any case, Winchester has a grid and an interesting planning history.

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Image credits | Alagz, Shutterstock; iStockx4