Royal Parade Circa 1953

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Featured in the Plymouth Extra on the 19 June 2008.

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RW/23/7 Royal Parade, circa 1953

"Burton's, Boots' and Norwich Union House had all been built, but they all look rather odd, rising out of the rubble of post-war Plymouth. It was sometime around 1953 when Roy Westlake captured this view for posterity.

The Guinness Clock still had another 10 years or so to tick, but the Corn Exchange - situated roughly where the cars are parked - had been a recent victim of the redevelopment.

The other wartime survivors in Market Place (seen here to the left of the picture) would soon follow, as would the Treville Street premises occupying the site of the then soon-to-be-built Post Office.

Of the pre-war buildings in this immediate neighbourhood only the telephone exhange (the imposing block above the Norwich Union House sign) survives today. Closer examination of the image reveals many other buildings were not so fortunate, among them the old Technical College and the north-western stretch of Ebrington Street. What is however remarkable, of course, is the fact that the then-brand-new Burton Building has already disappeared, as the process of redevelopment rumbles on.

Picture courtesy of the South West Image Bank (01752 665445) ref: RW/23/7."

(Commentary by Chris Robinson)


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