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Friday, 11 May 2012

LOWER STREET and HIGHTOWN circa 1971

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Following the demolition of Vernon Coopers and other property in Lower Street at the beginning of the 1970s it was possible to take this photo in the short period before work on demolishing Hightown itself  began.
Although, as we can see, the removal of the buildings in  Lower Street had begun in earnest, Dewhurst's butcher's shop and its associated living accomodation were yet to go, and were just to the right of the photographer, as can be seen in this photograph looking in the opposite direction. The metal sign in the right foreground appears in both pictures.
On the extreme right is our poor old butchered butcher's shop and dominating the picture and hiding the parish church from view is the Town Hall and the cluster of buildings around it.
The Town Hall itself was a very large building and was even larger (or should that be longer?) until the 1930s when, as explained here, part of it was demolished to make way for a widened Lower Street when the new Town Bridge was built.
The war memorial is still in its original position behind the end wall of the chemist's shop and it's strange to realise that until the 'piazza' replaced these buildings in the 70s the crowd at the annual Remembrance Day service were obliged to stand on the public thoroughfare.
The square building to the rear of that chemist's shop is intriguing. It's impossible to make out the wording on the sign board, but I seem to recall it was something like 'Winsford Industrial Co-operative Wholesale Society Optical Dept', which seems to indicate that the shop above was also part of the Co-op at this time. (although it may have moved across the road to that part of the 'Co-operative Superstore' building later occupied by Pineland by this date).
The two-level construction of this building is quite interesting in itself, and very reminiscent of one of the late Brian Curzon's 'stack pubs' as explained here.

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