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Brit-tiki: Beachcomber designer dies

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While searching around I found this obituary for one of the designers of the Mayfair Beachcomber and the butlins Beachcomber bars..

Patrick Garnett

Architect whose designs caught the mood of swinging London.

Patrick Garnett, who has died aged 74, was a successful architect whose practice, Garnett Cloughley Blakemore (GCB), designed memorable, three-dimensional sequences of 1960s' swinging London, and connected pop culture with a wide cross section of society - from Belgravia to Butlin's.

heir constructions included a revolving restaurant on the 34th floor of the Post Office tower, the electric Kool-Aid interiors of the Chelsea Drugstore, framed for posterity in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange, a chic, regutted Belgravia house for Earl Mountbatten of Burma, a Bond-style discotheque - complete with piranha fish swimming beneath the glass dance floor - and the bright and breezy Scratchwood service station at the southern end of the M1 motorway.

What made GCB different from conventional architectural practices was a decision made early on by Garnett and his business partner, Tony Cloughmore, to invite Erik Blakemore (1926-87), an Elstree film designer, to join them. This was looked on by fellow architects as something quite shocking at the time. Blakemore's sets for such best-forgotten British films of the late 1950s as The Depraved, Three Crooked Men and The Great Van Robbery, directed by Max Varnel, were eclipsed in the young architects' eyes by his design for the fashionable south seas-style Beachcomber bar at the Mayfair hotel.

Holiday camp king Billy Butlin loved this stuff, too. As a result, in 1965 GCB were asked to design six sub-Beachcomber bars - all bamboo furniture, fishing nets swagged from ceilings and local girls sporting sarongs - at Butlin's camps at Barry Island, Bognor Regis, Filey, Minehead and Skegness. The Top of the Tower restaurant, also for Butlin, followed in 1966, though, sadly, it closed in 1980, nine years after a bomb exploded in the 620ft Post Office tower.

..a disco with a pirhana fish dance floor!! for the full obit go HERE

Amazing! I gathered that the Mayfair Beachcomber had inspired the Butlins bars....but that they were by the same architect!? Great info, but....WHY oh why do we find this out only after the guy dies !!! He sounds like he would have had some stories to tell, and images to share....Sigh.

But there is hope, notice that the company that designed the Beachcombers is called Garnett Cloughley Blakemore, now Patrick Garnett has just passed away and Erik Blakemore died in 1987 so that leaves Tony Cloughmore possibly still alive.
I'll have to see if i can hunt out more information on this company and Mr Tony Cloughmore.

One more thing I was talking to the editor of the Brit-tiki fanzine Pocket tiki at the London Luau and he told me that he'd been chatting with top British artist Vince Ray and that Vince Ray's Uncle had designed the graphics for the menu's in the Butlins Beachcombers.

R.I.P., Cheers!


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