When you walk along Silver Street from Barclays Bank to the Poultry Cross, if you look carefully, you will see that the pavement has been widened. This happened over 50 years ago as evidenced by this photograph. I doubt if it is an easy task without photographs such as this to determine when this pedestrian enhancement occurred. The buildings in this 1965 scene look much the same now as they did then but they almost all had different tenants.
It is thanks to the amazing foresight and gymnastic abilities of the photographer, Austin Underwood, that we have this photograph. Somehow he must have managed to gain access to the upper stories of the Barclay bank building to take this photograph. Maybe someone could manage a repeat and obtain a “now” photograph from the same vantage point and check my following comments. The first shop, visible on the left, is Hepworth’s the tailors where I bought my first suit, paid for by working nights at Welworthy’s piston ring factory in Harnham. The premises is now (2017) occupied by the coffee shop, Nero.
Robinson Rentals, now also Cafe Nero, is next door . In 1965 many families rented their TV. Now we rent our mobile phones but choose a different word than ‘rent’. One can make out Bollom the dry cleaners. Then there is FHW (Freeman Hardy and Willis) the shoe people who moved round the corner to Minster Steet, and have now left Salisbury all together. ‘Toni and Guy’ are now here. On the other side of Silver Street, one can see that Marks and Spencers occupied the building that Boots the Chemist now (2017) have. Woolworth’s had a large foodmarket on this side as well as their premises in High Street. Robert Stokes remains in name only along New Canal, the other side of their premises here in Silver Street. Lipton, the self service grocers, eventually moved into Butcher’s Row before disappearing into the annals of history. Now the premises is occupied by Santander. Timothy Whites (Chemist) can be made out, squeezed between M&S and Robert Stokes. They were taken over by Boots shortly after this photograph was taken. Curry’s sign can be seen down Butcher’s Row. They moved out of town a few years ago to the Southampton Road with many other retailers.
Besides the architecture and the shops, there is much more of Salisbury’s social history in this image. For example, double decker buses used to have a driver and a conductor. Look carefully in this photograph to see the driver. Butcher’s row appears to be pedestrianised. One can just make out the “No Entry” sign but note the van parked pointing in the wrong direction. Over eight premises have their blinds stretched out over the pavement. How many shops now have a working blind?
One can observe lots of shopping bags but no shopping trolleys or mobility vehicles.
Only the men appear to be wearing the trousers back in 1965!