This film is part of Free

Rooftop Restaurant in Plymouth

The city's new sky bar and restaurant opens for business.

Current affairs 1962 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Plymouth's Civic Centre is a fourteen-storey modernist building opened in 1962. It encapsulates a city's high-rise pride and joy as the centrepiece of post-war reconstruction before it became something of a marmite building. The rooftop restaurant boasts a spectacular view and a TV reporter catches with up restaurant-goers. Enthusiastic customers chew away at delights served on canteen crockery from a good old British menu. In 1975 fire risk forced its closure.

Based on the plans designed by Hector Stirling and built by the London firm of Jellicoe Ballantyne Coleridge, the Civic sits proudly above a wide, open public square forming part of a long pedestrianised boulevard-style sweep from centre shops up to the Hoe and the sea. A successful Save the Tower campaign encouraged English Heritage in 2007 to slap a Grade II listing on this important example of twentieth century post-war architecture. Its redevelopment is in the hands of Manchester development company Urban Splash who have plans to reopen the top floor perhaps with less dishes garnished à la lettuce and English salad tomato but deconstructed sponge pudding and custard could enjoy a resurgence.