Kent Brooks muses about the changes to buildings in Kendal over the past 60 years

THE year 1972 saw the end of the Municipal Corporation and Kendal became part of South Lakeland District Council.

Most people are not now bound together by bonds going back generations and have less loyalty to the place they live.

A demographic transformation has seen the majority of people born elsewhere, although in 1841 out of 312 people living in Collin Croft all but three were born locally and this situation probably continued substantially unchanged for the town as a whole until after the Second World War.

The town, governed by its burgesses and aldermen since medieval times, was now toothless and to confuse matters still further there is now also a Cumbria County Council in addition to six district councils.

A great regret to me is the proliferation of inappropriate architecture.

Yes, the yards were insanitary and something needed to be done. However, much of this housing stock could have been sympathetically restored, leaving the town as a unique tourist attraction.

However, like many towns in post-war Britain, Kendal couldn’t get on with “modernising” fast enough.

In my view few modern buildings are in tune with local traditions; many are simply hideous.

Even sophisticated residential buildings bristle with inappropriate embellishments: Mansard roofs, turrets, dormers and the like, stuck on by architects who either do not know, or don’t care about the local tradition.

And why do we have 'Mews'? It is a southern term. Here, the mew was where the fodder was kept, adjacent to the shippon.

Inappropriate architecture is not a modern invention - it certainly was found in Victorian times, but it seemed to reach its apogee in the middle years of the 20th century with buildings like Sand Aire House at Kendal.