Start - St. George's Street

Map of the Town

1963

This clock tower is all that was left of St Georges's Church following bombing during WW2.  Can you see the building to the left background on the 1963 picture ?  That was David Greig the grocer.  This shop was an old-fashioned grocer where most of  the goods were kept behind the counter.  There were glass-topped counters on the left as you went in and at the rear of the shop and there was also a line of counters forming a square in the centre of the shop.  On the right hand wall of the shop were tins etc.  They used to sell very nice pates which were served from china dishes which they would then sell to their customers when empty.  My mother used to buy lots of them ! 

On the right background of the 1963 picture is a row of shops which have since been redeveloped.  The clock tower now sits within a small quad and is known to all as The Clocktower.   The shops used to be (left to right) a cake shop cum restaurant (where the coffee used to smell really nice outside), a chemist, then an opticians and then in the far right hand corner was a toyshop.  I think it may have been called Hall's.  The right hand side of this quad was the left hand wall of Tesco next door.  The shops were redeveloped in the late 1980s.  David Greig's premises is still there, infact the building is now listed but is now the local Superdrug.

1963

This is the Long Market.  The 1963 picture show what the locals used to call 'the shoe box building' because of its obviously modernistic and square design.  This was part of Canterbury's post-war reconstruction phase.  The Long Market stretched from opposite Rose Lane (where the photographer was standing) all the way back to Burgate.  Do you remember the Rediffusion shop televison shop at the back of the Long-Market facing onto Burgate ? 

The shops facing Rose Lane are a bit of a mystery to me !  I can remember a jeweller's shop and the entrance to the Roman Pavement museum and upstairs was another coffee shop.  The smell of the coffee when one walked up this part of the street must be remembered by everyone that ever passed by !  Regrettably I never went up there.  You can just see Burton's on the corner; that is still there.

1963

The National Provincial Bank later turned into the Nat West.  This is looking at the right hand side of the Long Market.  Next door to the Nat West is Barclay's Bank.  Barclay's is still there but in a newer building and the Nat West site is now New Look, a ladies clothes shop.  I distinctly remember the interior of Barclay's;  The door was in the left front corner of the building and the counters were up the right hand side.  This was in the days of one queue per cashier.  At the far end opposite the doors were a couple of desks where customers could talk to bank staff.  I remember this to be a very austere environment full of veneered wood and very, very quiet.

We are now in the High Street

Map of the Town

1963

The beautiful building has the date XXXX marked on the front.  This used to be Queen Elizabeth's Guest Chamber which were glorified tea and lunch rooms.  I went in here once in the mid-eightees and it was very lace tablecloths and cushions then !  It is now closed. 

1963

This is the Beaney Institute which comprises the KCC library and Royal museum.  To the left i can recall Timothy White's, a kind of kitchen/cook shop and to the right a small branch of Halfords.  This view hasn't changed all that much in 30 years.

We are now in St. Peter's Street

Map of the Town

1963

The pictures above and immediately below show the old weavers' house.  Weaving with looms was done here until WW2.  About the only things that have changed here are the clusters of pigeons which are sitting in the bays above are not there anymore.  I remember them well;  there are now small spikes there to stop the pigeons from sitting there and making a mess of the building.

1963

1963

These pictures were taken from just past the Weavers' house.  The shop on the immediate right was gutted by fire in the 1980s I think, but prior to that was a business called Ripley's.  They sold very good quality high class second-hand clothes.  There was absolutely no stigma attached to buying used clothes from Ripley's; they only sold the best.  After the fire the shop was rebuilt but turned into a sweet shop, which it still is.  In the distance is the Westgate Towers which was built in 1380 and an artillary position.  It is Britain's oldest purpose-built gun tower, older than Cow Tower in Norwich, so there !

I do not really remember the shops between here and the Towers.

1963

This is St. Peter's Church.  This scene has hardly changed.  The pub is now the XXX

1963

This Georgian building was Canterbury College of Art but when a new college was built in the 1960s this was renamed the Sidney Cooper Centre.

More to follow soon.

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