Demolition in Dursley Town Centre during the 1950's and 1960's

The late 1950's and early 1960's saw a lot of change to the Dursley landscape as many old buildings in an around the town centre became surplus to requirements and were demolished. The primary reason for this activity was the construction of Castle Street which would ease the traffic problem in Parsonage Street but it also provided an opportunity for opening up the area and creating more space. In retrospect, much character was also lost and with better foresight and planning the town could have retained more of its attractiveness. The most visible area of change was that surrounding the Market House which saw the removal of the police station, the magistrates court, the post-office and the effective obliteration of that end of The Knapp which joined Parsonage Street at this point. Opposite the Market House, all the buildings to the right of the main entrance to St.James' Church were demolished resulting in the area of open lawn which exists today. Long Street did not escape, a number of medieval buildings were removed to make way for the new Gazette offices and several buildings were lost at the lower end of the street to become open grassland. Elsewhere in Boulton Lane, The Slade and Union Street, obliteration of most of the buildings occurred to make way for an abortive relief road attempt.

As it turned out, Castle Street was actually built in two stages, the first from the Market House to the site of the present day Sainsbury's supermarket at which point it curved round and rejoined Parsonage Street opposite Broomhall's the butcher. This point had been originally been a narrow entrance to Castle Farm but it had to be widened by demolishing the Bell and castle Hotel which stood where Barclay's bank now stands. The second stage of construction saw Castle Street extended so that it came out where it does today, opposite May Lane. Once again though, further demolition to create a gap in the terrace was needed to allow this to happen.

  Picture Gallery (Click on picture for larger view)
    Old Police Station
Little remains of the old police station which was situated close to the Market House.
(1959 - copyright John Shipton)
    Police Station from the Market House
Another view of the partially demolished police station, this time looking throught the arches of the Market House.
(1959 - copyright John Shipton)
    Boulton Lane Drill Hall
The semi-demolished drill hall in Boulton Lane makes a sorry sight.
(1959 - copyright John Shipton)
    Boulton Lane
The drill hall has now gone and the heart has been torn from the area, only the clearing up remains. On the right is the sign of the Cross keys Inn, situated at the junction of Boulton Lane and Upper Poole Road.
(1959 - copyright John Shipton)
    Boulton Lane from Silver Street
Looking up Boulton Lane from its junction with Silver Street, the area on the right has been completely cleared of all buildings.
(1959 - copyright John Shipton)
    Devastation on The Slade
Viewed towards the crossroads at the top of Boulton Lane, the scene of utter devastation makes a sad sight.
(1959 - copyright John Shipton)
    Upper Poole Road to The Slade
Looking along Upper Poole Road towards Boulton Lane and the cleared area of The Slade.
(1959 - copyright John Shipton)
    May Lane widening
On the left of this picture stood the Cooperative Bakery and a row of cottages but they were all taken down and the site cleared to allow the road to be widened. The Cooperative Store on the right eventually became a car showroom but is now the Warehouse nightclub.
(1968 - courtesy Cam & Dursley Camera Club)
    Demolition of the Wild Goose Garage
Another building disappears with the demolition of the old Wild Goose Garage on Kingshill Road to make way for a replacement.
(c1959 - copyright John Shipton)