Sunday, 6 February 2011

Wrexham Centenary Handbook - extracts

Yesterday I stewarded part of the Quiltfest exhibition at the Museum in Llangollen. There is a good second hand book shop in the museum and I always find something of interest there. This time is found a copy of "Wrexham - Centenary Handbook". Wrexham is our nearest town and I usually take an interest in the history of where I live. Published in 1957, it looks like it has been scarcely opened and it's red cloth binding is quite pristine. It contains a fascinating selection of information about the town as it was in the fifties, clearly sponsored by many adverts throughout the book for business which are mostly long gone (although I can remember some of them from the early 1990s). Click the images to display the scans at a larger scale.

There is also a very nice fold out map of the town.

Fascinating 'vital statistics' but don't rely on the list of banks and parking places today.

There are a number of photographs of buildings which are long gone. Even the view of St Giles Church on the colour frontispiece has changed, as the red brick building in the foreground was demolished a few years ago.

Demolition has been a popular pastime of Wrexham's town planners. These buildings don't exist any more - the last photo shows the building that stood on the site of the council offices, next to the present day library.

The view down High Street is probably one of the least changed - minus the horse traffic today (or any traffic at all, as it is a restricted zone). The photo of Queen's Park shows it newly built.

These houses on Chester Road were also brand new. The Memorial Hall must have been under construction when the book was published.

It would be nice if a similar mortgage offer were available for self builders today!

Denbighshire Technical College is now part of Glyndwr University.

Most of the "motor runs" still make nice trips - the countryside aroudn here is lovely. I don't think Gresford Garage Co still supplies parts!

More adverts -

I wonder what a similar publication would look like today? The council website includes a view from the church tower in the first image, with the empty site of the red brick building carefully off the edge of the view. The council is currently obsessed with obtaining city status. It has tried for this at least once before and was turned down.

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