Bridge Street in Spaldning – then and now

Bridge Street in Spalding in the days that pedestrians and lorries jostled for space on the pavements.
Bridge Street in Spalding in the days that pedestrians and lorries jostled for space on the pavements.

The Civic Society is sharing a series of pictures showing changes in Spalding over the last 50 years.

We’ve almost forgotten what it was like to have the main A16 trunk road running through the town centre.

Bridge Street – linking the town’s Market Place with High Bridge and the River Welland – was the most dangerous place, especially when two lorries tried to pass, mounted the kerb and knocked off the shop canopy of Ashwell’s newsagents, which was once a regular occurrence.

Bridge Street was impossible for prams, wheelchairs, small children and cyclists,
especially on market days when it was crowded around
Woolworth’s, at that time the centre of shopping activity.

Large numbers walking into town from the bus station, then in Churchgate on the riverside, added to the congestion.

Woolworth’s has now gone and, after a period of emptiness, all the shops have been
reinvigorated by new owners.

There is not one original shop remaining.

Through traffic was removed in the 1980s when the A16 was
diverted along the riverside.

However, this created other problems and it was not until the opening of the A16 bypass that it was possible to create the
pleasant place it is today with pavement cafes and space to
wander and socialise in safety.

We look forward to further enhancements here and in the adjoining Market Place.

It is now a lovely town centre.

• If you would like to join Spalding & District Civic Society please telephone 01775 767923 for details.