Back in Time: No ‘elf and safety’ as Friars Square is built

Silver Street, Aylesbury, 1964
Silver Street, Aylesbury, 1964

In 1964 work began on clearing a huge part of Aylesbury town centre for the construction of County Hall, the library and Friars Square shopping centre with its multi-storey car park.

Pictured here is Silver Street viewed from its junction with Great Western Street. It was full of old and interesting buildings, some being many centuries old.

Health & Safety wasn’t even heard of in those days.

The man looking up at the building on the left has only a cloth cap on his head – no hard hat and no dust mask, either.

The same goes for the man inside the building.

There is no scaffolding, just a ladder and he’s probably using a sledgehammer or pick to take the building down.

When all the buildings were gone the ground was excavated for the foundations of Friars Square, destroying nearly all traces of this 
ancient part of Aylesbury.

The only buildings to survive all this are the former Dark Lantern pub and Jones & Cocks.

Later these two buildings were merged into one to make a larger pub.