Your Community Hub

Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan’s new album, Your Community Hub continues Gordon Chapman-Fox’s sonic exploration of the New Towns movement, and how the issues they set out to solve still echo today.

The theme for 2024’s album is Community, and the Community Centres that populated Warrington and Runcorn to provide all the facilities people needed within a five minute walk from their home. These ideas predate the current talk of 15 Minute Cities by 50 years.

Not only have the past 50 years seen a decline in these community centres, but also in the services that they offered – be it handy access to a GP or dentist, Post Office and more – as successive governments undermined and eroded those basic services.

As well as a decline in the community centres and services, the past 50 years have also been matched with a decline in community, and shared experience. Mrs Thatcher’s statement that “there is no such thing as society” was ridiculed at the time, but successive Tory governments have taken this as a mission statement and aimed to remove as much support and communality from the country as possible, and left everyone to fend for themselves.

The album artwork features photographs from the archive of the architect Peter Garvin, and kindly provided by his son Richard Garvin. The photographs show Peter’s work on the Castlefield Community Centre, a sleek modernist structure clad in white ceramic tiles.2023’s The Nation’s Most Central Location became Castles In Space’s biggest ever release, selling out over the course of a weekend, and charting at #6 in the UK Official Independent Albums Chart. It’s critical success matched its record sales, with it topping Electronic Sound magazine’s Albums of the Year, making it to #13 in Rough Trade’s AotY list, and making it to similar lists for Bleep and Norman Records.

Reviews

Tracklisting

No.TitleLength
A01A Shared Sense Of Purpose5m 25s
A02Rapid Transport Links6m 14s
A03Cul-de-Sac7m 29s
B04Summer All Year Round4m 35s
B05Facilities For All Ages4m 39s
B06Pedestrian Shopping Deck5m 06s
B07A New Town With An Old Sense Of Community5m 04s

Vinyl pressings

PressingDateDescriptionCopies
First pressingMay 2024Solid black with cream and purple splatter600 copies
First pressingMay 2024Clear with cream and purple splatter1500 copies
First pressingMay 2024Solid purple2500 copies