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Demolition of A.A.Webb & Son, 1969.

Photos by Edwyn James.

A great picture this, showing just how times have changed. Take a look at the group of workmen on top of the Corner Cafe busy removing the lead. No protective clothing or hard hats, no scaffolding or fall prevention and nothing to stop that roll of lead dropping onto unsuspecting motorists below! The only concessions to safety are a "Danger keep clear" notice and a feeble rope barrier. An un-imaginable scene under today's Health and Safety law.

The sad scene of the derelict Corner Cafe with the typical paraffin lamps and road blocks that accompanied roadworks back then.

This is why the buildings had to go - the narrow turn into New Street was very difficult for long vehicles in heavy traffic.

With the Cafe gone it is the turn of Webb's, with just the cast iron window sections remaining.

The demolition of Webb's caused considerable controversy as it was a classic example of a Victorian department store. It could have been saved since the road-widening did not extend this far - this plot was (after a very long delay) used to build the present Sainsbury store.