Back in Time: Great Western Steet without the tunnel vision

Great Western Street 1956
Great Western Street 1956

Great Western Street in 1956.

The street was created in the 1860s to link the town centre with its new railway station.

The new road took a while to be built along, particularly at the lower end.

The upper part where it meets Walton Street was already there from antiquity.

It was part of the road that went from Oxford Road, up Rickfords Hill and down old Friarage Road.

The woman with her shopping is walking past an area that was once an island of buildings, at the end of which was one called the Coffin House because of its unusual shape.

The lane behind it was called Coffin Lane.

The Railway Hotel can be seen on the left with its distinctive grotesques on the roof.

By the early 1960s work had begun on widening the street and in 1964 the construction of Friars Square Shopping Centre had begun on one side of the street.

The bus station and Woolworths were completed on the other side by 1969.

Today it is quite difficult to exactly place where the photographer was stood.

He would roughly be at about where the entrance to the bus station is at the Friarage Road end.