Very rare im­ages from the early 1970s

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Home Help With A Difference -

grat­i­tude go to Robert Mowl for find­ing a num­ber of im­ages on neg­a­tive, taken as part of his job dur­ing the re­de­vel­op­ment of Ash­ford. I was three years old the last

It is al­ways an enor­mous treat for me to un­cover more ‘old’ im­agery of the town as it used to be, and es­pe­cially when ma­te­rial come from an un­likely source – such as the gen­tle­man that my par­ents bought my house from 36 years ago. My sin­cere thanks and time I had seen Mr Mowl when my par­ents viewed the house. I would never have guessed that I would be meet­ing him again ... at the age of 38!

For some­one such as Mr Mowl to have the fore­sight to keep such neg­a­tives is fan­tas­tic, and I al­ways say that I am con­vinced that there are nu­mer­ous im­ages of the town that ex­ist in large num­bers. In this in­stance, my ‘con­vinced’ feel­ing has paid off. Th­ese very rare im­ages were taken dur­ing the early 1970s, and record much of what was oblit­er­ated be­yond recog­ni­tion for the Ring­way con­struc­tion. Al­though I have il­lus­trated this sub­ject on pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions, th­ese im­ages pro­vide the ‘miss­ing link’ in my vast ar­chive, some­thing that I have long hoped for. This week’s se­lec­tion of pho­to­graphs looks at 1971, and due to their rare con­tent they are guar­an­teed to ex­cite res­i­dents who grew up in the vicin­ity. It’s also im­ages such as th­ese that will have a fit­ting po­si­tion in fu­ture book projects that I have in the pipe­line.

New Street look­ing to­wards Maid­stone Road in 1971 and a very rare view show­ing New Street in the days be­fore it was sev­ered for the Ring­way pro­ject. The premises of E. C. Hud­son, cy­cle agent, Dr Barnardo’s and Auto Equip­ment (im­me­di­ate left) are al­ready va­cant at the time of this pic­ture and were de­mol­ished in the fol­low­ing months. The lon­glost au­to­mo­tive premises of Caffyns can be seen on the right next to the Tran­sit van and the Vaux­hall Vic­tor es­tate car. The hous­ing ei­ther side of the Prince Al­bert and Prince of Or­ange pub­lic houses, were also sac­ri­ficed in the name of progress, mak­ing this view to­tally un­recog­nis­able to­day. To ap­pre­ci­ate the changes to­day, one would need to stand out­side Swin­ton In­sur­ance in New Street and look back up to­wards Lidl and the Bri­tish Vol­un­teer pub­lic house. You will be shocked.

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