April 2009

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Image of the Month Feature - April 2009


SWiB Reference, PD/1/1/29 - Royal Parade, 1960s

This months image has been chosen from our transport online gallery by Jim Hawkins, SWiB Volunteer

"Instantly recognisable to anyone even remotely connected to Plymouth is this colourful picture of Royal Parade, taken nearly fifty years ago. A 'Then and Now' comparison would highlight some changes, but this brilliant image shows that Royal Parade was in the early 1960s, and as is now, the main thoroughfare of Plymouth City Centre.

Obvious changes observed are the cars, I am interested to identify the most prominent car on the right. I think it may be a Wolseley, perhaps someone could give the answer to that one. Also the three leading cars displaying the old style 'AA' badges on the front grills which are now collector items. No seat belts in those days! Interesting too the cyclists - no crash helmets. The buses, all double deckers and some of an older style - I think we still had drivers and conductors to take the fares.

Notice no lights on the pedestrian crossings, or speed cameras and the centre barrier fencing was a lot lower than it is today, and had a few openings for pedestrians which would not be allowed today. The main overhead lighting has now been changed and they are now double droop design.

The left-hand 'shop' side of the Parade has not changed much, but the other side has with the construction of two major buildings namely the Theatre Royal, finished in the 1980's, and the controversial Civic Centre, which was officially opened by the Queen in 1962.

On a final lighter note, the clothes have changed a bit, mens clothes were mainly drab and boring, the variation of colours had not yet become popular, and as for the ladies very few wore trousers!"


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