Expansion of town clearly seen

Expansion of town clearly seen

Expansion of town clearly seen

First published in Aerial Memories

Two buildings in this week’s aerial view of Swindon 50 years ago are testament to the town’s continuing record of expansion. Clarence Street School (1) on the corner of Euclid and Clarence Streets was built in 1897 at a cost of £12,091.

It could accommodate 885 children but by the beginning of the new century it was already overcrowded.

The building of Euclid Street Higher Elementary School in 1904 eased the pressure.

School log books reveal that about this time Clarence Street School was divided into a separate girls’ and boys’ section.

In 1907 JJ Stafford was the headteacher, with Miss CJ Stiles in charge of the girls and Miss LM Kent, the infants’ mistress. Just two years later average attendances numbered 891.

Fifty years later Clarence Street School accommodated the children of Swindon newcomers living in the new estates at Walcot and Parks.

In 1958, about the time this photograph was taken, there were approximately 1,000 children on the roll.

With a population topping the 60,000 mark, the Town Hall building in Regent Circus was proving to be inadequate accommodation for the increasing number of local government officers.

In 1936 a small recreation ground in Euclid Street was ear marked for the site of the new civic offices (2).

The Civic Offices, designed by Oxford based architects Bertram, Bertram and Rice, opened in 1938.

Not long after this photograph was taken, terraced housing along Islington Street (3) was demolished to make way for the Courts of Justice which opened in 1965.

And Cow Lane, (4) reduced to a back way when Princes Street was built in the 1870s, disappeared altogether.

Do you remember Tydeman Brothers and their builder’s yard in Edgeware Road or Preater’s Garage near the old Whale Bridge?

If so we’d like to hear from you with your memories. Write to us at Aerial Memories, Swindon Advertiser, 100, Victoria Road, Swindon SN1 3BE or email aerialmemories@swindonadvertiser.co.uk.

Watering holes along this stretch of town included the Red Cow, closed and demolished in 1968.

Originally situated in Cow Lane, the Red Cow pub was rebuilt in Princes Street in 1879. At the other end of Princes Street next to the Whale Bridge, just at the edge of the photograph, is the Whale Inn.

KEY:
1. Clarence Street School, built in 1897 on the corner of Euclid and Clarence streets.
2. The Civic Offices in Euclid Street.
3. Terraced houses in Islington Street, which were later demolished to make way for the courts of justice.
4. Cow Lane, which was reduced to a backway when Princes Street was built in the 1870s and then demolished altogether

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