Tuesday 24 July 2012

The Clock Tower - then & now 2

The White Lion Hotel, said by Timothy Carder to have originated in the 16th century, was rebuilt several times in its life, the last in 1900. The entrance to the hotel can be seen in Queens Road. The entrance on the corner led at one time to a public house and later to a bank. In 1958 it was a branch of Barclays. A modest 'Boots the Chemist' occupied a shop a few doors down North Street. 

The whole corner including the superb inter-war Regent cinema & ballroom (not visible) was demolished in 1974 and replaced with the present Boots building. As originally built this had a visible structural frame which at least had a degree of 20th. century architectural integrity. Sadly this was later messed about with so we ended up with the rather bland shed-like structure we see today.

Barclays Bank went down North Street to the 1960's building it still occupies. This was built in portland stone in imposing classical style. No doubt this was intended to inspire confidence; somewhat ironical in view of recent banking scandals.

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  1. It became the first Virgin Record Shop in 1970.

    1. Yes, I believe I have dim memories of it. Thanks for the reminder :)

  2. I'll have 'then', please .......


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