Tyre building won't perish

A number of historic buildings associated with the Motor and Allied Industries have been destroyed, sadly. These include the Talbot works in North London, most of the fine Argyll building in Glasgow, the line of Brooklands’ sheds and the spacious bungalow ‘The Hermitage’ where Parry Thomas lived with his ‘housekeeper’, Mrs Duke-Williams and her husband and children, who were friends of the Welsh designer/racing driver. Several other such structures which should have been preserved have also gone. So it is good that the India Tyre Building in Inchinnan, Scotland, is to be saved. Formerly a Beardmore factory, where a number of bombers and airships were built, including the R34 which made the out-and-back Atlantic crossing in 1919, India Tyres took over in ’27, and Segrave went there to talk tyres for Golden Arrow. The remaining Art Deco administration block was built in 1930.

After the demolition in 1980 of the Firestone Building on the A4, this is one of the few Art Deco motor buildings remaining in the UK, on a site whose occupation dates back to AD597. The Scottish Development Agency bought it from Dunlop Holdings for £2 million in 1987, and Graham Technology, who purchased the site in 1999, are now renovating the Grade A-listed Building and extending it, using the airship as a basis for the design. The architects of the project are Gibb Architects, 5-6 Park Terrace, Glasgow G3 6BY.