Very rare images from the early 1970s
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.