Reader letter: Memories of a different time
- Credit: Steve Adams
Re the redevelopment of Anglia Square.
Anglia Square was not even a dark cloud on the horizon when I came to live in Botolph Street in 1952. It was a busy, narrow road of medieval origin, a wealth of interesting old buildings, houses and shops.
My husband and I ran St Augustine's Lending Library with a combined confectionary/toy and car shop. Next door there was a men's outfitters, a bakery, a butcher; on the corner was apublic house and round the corner, in Duke Street, another butcher.
Continuing towards Magdalen Street, there was a cycle repair shop, two public houses and another confectioner. Opposite our shop, there was Valori's fishmonger, a tobacconist, a tailor and at the junction with Magdalen Street, Frank Price's department store selling clothing, haberdashery and furniture. Here stood the splendid building, a bank, the demolition of which still causes recriminations today.
Where Botolph Street joined St Augustine's there was an ironmonger, hairdresser, fruit and vegetable store, another bakery, butcher and fishmonger, a cafe and Coleman and de Carl, the chemist and optician. At the end of our garden on warm days, with their windows open, we could hear the girls in Edwards' Shoe factory singing along to Music While You Work on the BBC light programme.
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In 1964 everyone received notice to quit as the area was to be the site of the new Stationery Office. We had to vacate the premises at very short notice just before Christmas, receiving no compensation as we were tenants. Many of the old buildings, in this more enlightened age, would have been preserved for their historical value.
So I will not be sorry to see the demolition of the Stationery Office monolith and its unsightly neighbours and trust that future buildings will be more in keeping with the historical value of the area.
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• Joan Awbery has some special memories of the Anglia Square area. Can you remember any of the old businesses she talks about? You tell us...