3 Feb 2011: Pocock Street revisited
Philip Marriage writes: In 1965 I left St Stephen's Parliamentary Press, Pocock Street, to join the Layout Section in Atlantic House on Holborn Viaduct. The first two years of my apprenticeship were spent at HMSO's Press in Drury Lane, not far from the British Museum and the West End shops, so the transfer in October 1961 to the newly built SSPP in the Borough, Southwark, offered few attractions and 45 years later I have scarcely any memories of the area other than the occasional forays to 'The Cut' and the daily struggle up and down the Borough Underground.
Recently I had the chance to spend a few days in The Borough and took the opportunity to explore the area again. I soon found Pocock Street, the old SSPP building has been converted, softened, and improved to become Blackfriars Crown Court (confusingly as Blackfriars is the other side of the river) and the whole area is now so much smarter than my scant recollections of all those years before. The distinctive aroma from Sainsbury's bacon curing factory is but a memory and the land opposite the old press building is currently being developed to join the gentrification.