Whitby Road

Burton’s in Whitby Road

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Whitby Road, probably sometime in the sixties, and today.
This one shows how easy it is to miss details above street level, at least for me. Until I started working on it, I was completely unaware that one of the Burton’s signs was still there, on the side of what is now Motorworld.

The lull in the traffic today gives the impression that there is less traffic now than when the first photo was taken, but that impression would be wrong., as a few moment either way the road was full.

 

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Whitby Road in the Fifties

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The road to the left here is Victoria Road. Just behind the photographer, to the right, was the Co-op (most recently McDonalds), and beyond that were fields known locally as the Co-op fields. The buildings there now weren’t built until the 1960s. This was the top end of the town for shopping.


Building Westminster Bridge

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Westminster Bridge, here looking well on the way to completion. It was officially opened on the 29th of July, 1961, so I would guess that this photo was taken sometime during the winter before that, which would account for the coats people are wearing.


Whitby Road, junction with Cambridge Road

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Another colour picture from the late ’60s or early ’70s starts this animation, and once again the increased volume of traffic is evident.


Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church

catholicchurch2The date on the first photo, 1931, may be when the picture was taken, although I’ve seen it claimed that it was taken in 1937. Either that was a misreading, or the date on the picture just refers to the date the building was completed, work having started in 1930. In any case, it’s a very early photo of this familiar landmark.

The surroundings have changed a bit but, once again, the biggest change is the traffic. Whitby road is very busy here now, but in the 1930s it looks as if it was pretty quiet.

 

You can find out more about this church on its own website by clicking here.

 


Crossing on Whitby Road

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This is Whitby Road, close to Westminster Bridge, which is behind the photographer.
Very little has changed on this stretch of road. Most of the shops have changed hands, of course, and the crossing has been moved a few feet, and is now light controlled rather than a simple Zebra Crossing.
The first picture was probably taken in the late 1960s. I’ve taken the colour down a bit for this animation, but the original had the strong colours I’d associate with slide photography from my childhood.
The other big change isn’t readily apparent; the traffic. I’ve noticed, in a lot of old photos, that the photographers happily stand in the road as they take their shots. That’s not so easy these days, even on a Sunday, which is when I took the second picture. While there are quite a few vehicles in the first picture, |I doubt they were moving as fast as the ones I had to dodge!


Whitby Road, Vale Road

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There are plenty of buildings here that mark it as the same place in both photos, but there have been some significant changes too.

The shop on the corner of Whitby Road and Vale Road was a baker’s shop in the first picture, and is now a locksmiths.

The pub on the left was the Sportsman’s Arms. In the 1920s, the publican was Joseph Bond, and the stretch of Whitby Road it stood on is still known by many locals as “Bondy’s Hill”. The pub has been demolished, an there are now residential buildings in its place. A little bit  of history lives on in these buildings; one of them is called “Bondies House”.

It’s difficult to be sure, but the building furthest from the photographer on Whitby Road is, I think, the old Primitive Methodist Chapel. Not long after the photo was taken, the chapel was decommissioned, and later demolished.


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Some More Banks on Whitby Road

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Williams Deacon’s Bank has changed its name but, by the time the first photo was taken, had already been a part of the Royal Bank of Scotland for some three decades.
The TSB, on the other hand, is no longer a bank at all. Until earlier this year it was occupied by Cheshire Training Associates, one of the government’s Work Programme providers, but they’ve moved to a site on the edge of town, and this building is currently empty.


Civic Way

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You can’t really see the shape of the new building in the animation, as I was limited by the old, 1960s, photo, but the two photos below will show how there is a deliberate attempt to revive an older style, once common throughout Ellesmere Port. I hadn’t even noticed this until I took the second photo today.

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The roof-line on the front of this building replaced the 1960s “shoebox” design.

Annels

The shop in the middle of this photo of Station Road, Annels, had a similar shape of roof-line.


Banks on Whitby Road

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Martin’s Bank is no more, but the Midland bank lives on, albeit with a new name.