Post 138 - A Pre-War Plan

A Pre-War Plan

A Pre-War Plan – That with hindsight, could have gone better.

 

Mayor wants market- place Air-raid shelter for Wolverhampton!

Advocates big Car Park Underground

A scheme for a large subterranean car park to be constructed underneath the marketplace, which would also serve the dual purpose of being an air-raid shelter in a time of war was advocated by the Mayor of Wolverhampton (Councillor R.E. Probert).

 

 

Councillor Probert 1937- 1938 Caption - Councillor Probert 1937- 1938
Councillor Probert 1937- 1938 Caption – Councillor Probert 1937- 1938

 

Wolverhampton’s Mayor announcing the scheme at the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon following the annual meeting, said that car-parking arrangements were one of the great things needing consideration in the town.

He was one who believed that the Council should make the best of what they had, and they should not buy expensive properties and sites for that purpose.

The Market -Place Cheapside is Headline news.
The Market -Place Cheapside is Headline news.

“I certainly think it’s a line we can think about.”

“We want a car-park and we want air-raid shelters and there is a site right in the centre of town.”

“When we get rid of the old market hall- Which we shall one day and although there will be a lot of trouble It will have to go because it is worn out.”

“I feel there is a big opportunity of building a car-park and air-raid shelter, which are necessary.”

“You can still retain your top surface which would be a beautiful thing in front of the new civic hall and St Peter’s church.”

Did this grand idea come to fruition?

 

 

The proof seems to be across there in Cheapside.
The proof seems to be across there in Cheapside.

 

It certainly appears it did, as many such signs of the places of refuge are seen in this “Women’s Services” March Past in 1942.

The Mayor and town council take the salute outside the Town Hall – North Street. Whilst the spectators congregate below the many signs in “Cheapside” alerting them to the Car parks and air raid – shelter’s now close at hand.

In 1938, So far so good

1853 – 1953 Our Victorian Retail Market celebrates its Centenary

Centenary Dinner Civic Hall, Wolverhampton Tuesday 22nd September 1953.
Centenary Dinner Civic Hall, Wolverhampton Tuesday 22nd September 1953.

 

When, Mr Norman Pritchard, President of the Retail Market hall Tenants Association, lifted his glass to toast Her Majesty The Queen.

At the Centenary Dinner in Civic Hall, on the evening of Tuesday 22nd September 1953.

Who would have dreamt this beloved icon that for one hundred years had fronted our mother church?

Would be gone – swept away in just ten more years, but Sainsbury’s had just recently opened the first supermarket in London and the days of the old-fashioned traditional market such as ours were numbered.

Yes what the Luftwaffe failed to do during the war, our own Town Corporation did the task for them in peacetime.

The final outcome in 1961-2

Looking down on demolition work from the top of St Peter’s church in January 1961. In the background, left can be seen the Town Hall.
Looking down on demolition work from the top of St Peter’s church in January 1961. In the background, left can be seen the Town Hall.

 

The top of the Civic Hall is in the centre with on its left across Mitre Fold is the Telephone Exchange.

It is often said: “There are no good old days, nor bad old days…

…just changing times where the new benefits are always at the expense of losses in other ways”.

You can say that again!

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