The Square, early 1960s. Where the roundabout now stands once stood an elegant building with grand bay-windows, which can be seen on many a postcard of the Square from before the turn of the century. The ‘then’ image above shows its somewhat truncated state in the early late 1960s, following a number of enforced reductions in its size as explained below, shortly before its final demolition.
The right hand side of the building was demolished in 1932 as part of the Abbey End road widening scheme, leaving only the left hand side, minus the upper floor, which survived the war and became Dudley Taylor’s chemist’s shop. Ultimately it gave way to the utilitarian traffic management schemes of the 1960s and now the Square is a somewhat windswept and characterless shadow of its former self, dominated by the towering Holiday Inn.
More information on the tragic fate of The Square and Abbey End can, as ever, be found on Robin Leach’s excellent WWII website:
- Abbey End before the road widening, c.1910 – wwii.reuna.co.uk/index.php/abbey-end-landmine/abbey-end-c1910
- Abbey End & The Square before the landmine, c1939 – wwii.reuna.co.uk/index.php/abbey-end-landmine/abbey-end-1939
- Abbey End casualties of the Landmine, 1940 – wwii.reuna.co.uk/index.php/abbey-end-landmine/abbey-end-casualties
- Before and After shots showing landmine damage – wwii.reuna.co.uk/index.php/abbey-end-landmine/before-and-after