Blog: Dave LeggettThe 'Get Carter' car park...

Dave Leggett | 12 July 2010

Will we miss it when it

Will we miss it when it's gone? - the Get Carter car park, that is, not the Juke box

Are you familiar with the film 'Get Carter' which was made in 1971, starred Michael Caine and was set in the north-east of England? If yes, you may recall a scene that takes place in a concrete multi-storey car park in which Caine's character chucks the bloke who used to be in Coronation Street over the side.

It's a decent film that captures the spirit of the time; the times were a changin' and the concrete architecture springing up all over Britain was a big part of it. The 'brutalist' multi-storey car park in Get Carter symbolised the rapid changes to the built environment, attitudes of the times (there was a predilection for knocking old buildings down) and the new primacy of the automobile, even. Well, it turned out that people didn't much care for all the concrete or the blocks of flats that replaced so-called 'slums', but that's a long story...

Suffice to say, big concrete multi-storey car parks are often considered a necessary evil in this country, but aren't much loved for aesthetics. The one that features in Get Carter is being knocked down this month and has long been a controversial landmark in Gateshead. But you have to love this one fact about it: it is commonly known as the 'Get Carter Car Park'. I would have liked to have had a quick look at it and to have stopped a stranger in the street to ask for directions: 'Excuse you know where the 'Get Carter Car Park' is?'

Where am I going with this? Bear with me. Nissan's new Juke – made at its nearby Sunderland plant – has had the 'honour' of being the last vehicle to burn rubber in the GCCP prior to demolition. It's an unusual promo stunt, for sure. You can watch it doing the rounds in the below clip. I am not sure about the styling of the vehicle, though Graeme Roberts says that the upper B-Segment crossover is more convincing in the  flesh



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