Even ring road quiet in se­date town cen­tre

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - REMEMBER WHEN? - by Mike Ben­nett

The quiet mar­ket town braced for ex­pan­sion

AS DE­VEL­OP­ERS re­shape the heart of Ash­ford with shop­ping, homes and road projects, we re­turn to more peace­ful days of the 1970s for this week’s pic­tures from the past. They pro­vide bird’s-eye views of the town cen­tre taken in Novem­ber 1973 by pho­tog­ra­pher Ian Gam­brill from Coun­try­wide Pho­to­graphic, who took to the air to record a view of the build­ing of the orig­i­nal County Square (then called the Tufton Cen­tre) that is cur­rently be­ing mas­sively ex­panded.

Cat­tle mar­ket

The bot­tom of the pic­ture shows the orig­i­nal Ash­ford Cat­tle Mar­ket still in op­er­a­tion and at the top the old Hay­wards garage on ei­ther side of New Street. It is in­ter­est­ing to note that the new ring road, much her­alded then but heav­ily crit­i­cised in more re­cent times, has only a hand­ful of ve­hi­cles se­dately trav­el­ling along it. The sec­ond pic­ture look­ing to­wards Ken­ning­ton high­lights the im­pact of the Char­ter of­fice build­ing in Park Street that 33 years ago, just like to­day, dom­i­nates the sky­line. This and thou­sands of other old pic­tures of the town taken by Coun­try­wide and Ash­ford pho­to­graphic brothers Ge­orge and Douglas Weaver, are now held in the archives by Ian and Sue Gam­brill who run a pho­to­graphic com­pany

Re­flec­tions: Past and Present. They hold the copy­right but prints can be or­dered from them by phon­ing 0208 821107 or through their web­site www.re­flec­tions-images.co.uk

Ash­ford town cen­tre in 1973 – the road has only a few ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling along it

The Char­ter House of­fice block stands out in this view to­wards Ken­ning­ton

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