What is to happen to the Continental Booking Office?

Is the Continental Booking Office about to be demolished?

Is the Continental Booking Office about to be demolished?

We have noticed in recent days that the historic Continental Booking Office building – which was previously home to Vikki Pink Beauty and Mocha Marina Coffee – has been enclosed with wire fencing. We have known for a while that it was due to be demolished to make way for the Admiral’s Quay Phase 2 development. However, we have not heard anything recently from either MDL Marinas or Allied Developments (the developer) about the status of the development. We have reached out to both to see if there is any more information to relay to residents, but so far we have had no response. It came as something of a surprise to see it enclosed in fencing immediately after the Clipper event.

BBC News reports today that a request has been lodged with English Heritage to list the building:

English Heritage has been asked to list and protect a former ticket office that is due to be demolished to make way for a £74m housing development on Southampton’s waterfront.

The Continental Booking Office, which dates to the 1920s, is due to be knocked down in August to make way for the scheme at Ocean Village.

The article details how John Halsall, a Sotonian, has asked English Heritage to protect the building by listing it. English Heritage are currently considering his request.  However, it looks unlikely they will uphold his request – especially since they stated that they were happy for the demolition to proceed on the condition it was recorded prior to demolition.

Despite the building having a fascinating history (lots of interesting information can be found on our History of Ocean Village page), it’s not quite true that the Continental Booking Office is the only remaining ‘old building still standing in the area’, as Mr Halsall is quoted as saying. Enterprise House is still standing, a converted dock warehouse which was once alongside the quayside of the Inner Dock (now infilled). Also, the original dock walls are protected and listed. Several other buildings and structures on Canute Road are also listed and surviving, such as Canute Castle Hotel, Canute Chambers and its neighbouring properties, Union Castle House and South Western House (a full list can be viewed on this map of listed structures). Considering the widespread bombing of Southampton in the Second World War and our proximity to the Supermarine factories on the Woolston side of the Itchen River, we are actually quite lucky to have so many surviving old buildings in this area.

Incidentally, patrons of Vikki Pink Beauty will be pleased to know that the business has relocated to the High Street, close to the junction with Briton Street. Mocha Marina Coffee has, however, closed for business.

We will keep the community informed with all the latest information as we have it, so stay tuned for more. Clearly, if this building does become listed, it will have major implications on the development. Please do let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Full details of the Admiral’s Quay Phase 2 development can be found here on our website.