Back in Time: Wimpy and the Friars Square market – and just who is the topless trader?

Friars Square, Aylesbury, in 1974
Friars Square, Aylesbury, in 1974

In late 1967 Friars Square shopping centre opened in Aylesbury, after just over two years of construction.

Its first phase was the area we see here which is the open air market together with Lower Friars Square – or, as the locals called it, the underground market. The second phase which included the huge Woolworths store and bus station opened in 1969.

Hovering over the open market was the Cadena Cafe which later became Wimpy.

The market was always a busy place and on non-market days it was a place for kids on skateboards and BMX bikes to ride around in.

That said, the old Friars Square was an ugly place and quite awful on cold, wet and windy days.

In the summer time of course it was not so bad, as is seen in this view of 1974 where a market trader has no shirt on.

He probably had a decent pair of flares on though to keep in with the latest fashion.