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366 Days of Architecture

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Monday 19th December 2016

All around the world.

Two forms of media today - as well as a building – we’re at the former Radio Cinema, Kilbirnie to mark the first radio broadcast of the BBC World Service in 1932; today the BBC World Service is the world’s largest international broadcaster, reporting in 29 different languages from Broadcasting House, London. The cinema, designed by architect James Houston, opened in 1937 and is an example of pared down Art Deco, a definite celebration of the ‘moderne’ with a stylised radio tower above the entrance originally flashing with neon lighting. Having once lost its original tower as part of its change of use in the 1960s, this one has been restored and the building is now in community use.

Sunday 18th December 2016

Carol singing anyone?

There’s a good chance you may have heard a few Christmas carols by now, you may even have been singing them. One of the most popular carols ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing’ has words written by the Reverend Charles Wesley, whose birthday is today. The name of Wesley is one famously linked to Methodism, Charles’ older brother John being the founder and Charles himself a leader of the mid-eighteenth century movement, as well as author of some of the most famous hymns in the Methodist and Anglicans churches, such as ‘Love Divine, All Love Excelling’ and many others. This is the Central Hall in Edinburgh, built 1899-1901by Dunn and Findlay as the headquarters of the Methodist community in the city, recorded by HES in 2010.

Saturday 17th December 2016

A moment for pontificating.

Pope Francis celebrates his birthday today, born Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he is the first Pope from the southern hemisphere and from the Americas. He is also the first to take the name of Francis, chosen to honour St Francis of Assisi, whose feast day we noted on 366 Days 4th October; but Pope Francis is also the first Jesuit Pope, so we’re going to mark another Francis, St Francis Xavier, the sixteenth century co-founder of the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits, missionary to India and the first missionary to visit Japan, Borneo and parts of Asia, but who died before reaching China. This striking church of St Francis Xavier, Hope St, Falkirk was designed by the practice of Reginald Fairlie and partners, 1958-61.