Once upon a time, Romsey had at least five buildings based upon the Art Deco style of the ‘20s and ‘30s.

They were the Romsey and Stockbridge Rural District Council Offices and the Plaza cinema both built in 1931, the Post Office garage in Cherville Street, the Crosfield Hall built in 1936 and a bungalow in New Road, Cupernham.

The council offices became the property of Test Valley Borough Council who used them as its southern headquarters for some years. It then retreated entirely to Andover and sold the building which was demolished and replaced by the Fleur-de-Lis retirement homes.

Until quite late on, the Council Chamber had retained its Art Deco features, but the acoustics were terrible, and the room was remodelled to improve them.

The Post Office garage in Cherville Street became a network of car maintenance businesses and the owners of the site were allowed to change the Art Deco façade that faced onto the street.

The bungalow had distinctive curved glass windows and a front door that was classic of the style. It was modernised a few years ago and its classic details were removed.

Hampshire Chronicle: Art Deco front door and curved window on a bungalow in New Road in 2004

That leaves two buildings.

The fourth building, the Crosfield Hall, has been much altered inside, but retains its Art Deco façade, facing south to the By-Pass, which originally provided the only access. The building was given to the town by the wealthy philanthropist, Mr J. J. Crosfield of Embley Park, who a year later paid for the adjoining swimming pool.

Test Valley now wants to sweep the hall away as part of their plan to redevelop the Broadwater Road area and re-site a community hall on the other side of the By-Pass. I wonder whether they will retain the porch and Art Deco frontage.

The Plaza, after a spell as a Bingo Hall, was acquired by RAODS and under the expert guidance of Diane Hargreaves has retained its character, so we still have one Art Deco building that is likely to be with us awhile yet.

During the 1930s other public buildings were erected that have survived, but none were Art Deco. These include Romsey Hospital, which was relocated from Greatbridge Road to Winchester Hill in 1931, and to the cost of which Mr Crosfield contributed.

The former Telephone Exchange, fronting onto Alma Road and now part of the neighbouring surgery complex, is also a brick building typical of its era and of Post Office design at the time, with very nice brickwork, as is the Co-op in The Hundred, built by Woolworths.