How Spalding’s Winfrey Avenue evolved over 50 years

Winfrey Avenue in 1960.
Winfrey Avenue in 1960.
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In a monthly feature, Spalding & District Civic Society is sharing with readers a series of pictures showing changes in Spalding over the last 50 years.

To the left, the bulb auction hall is just visible, situated conveniently near the town centre so that Spalding townspeople felt part of the industrial life of Spalding. The auction sales were fun!

To the right are a number of small shops which included a butcher, a greengrocer and a newsagent. At the far end, just visible is a narrow path alongside Sir Halley Stewart Playing field, with a line of trees inside a green corrugated iron fence. When a new stand was built in the 1970s the fence was replaced with the existing wall and a new footpath, behind the line of trees.

Contrast this with the scene today with shops obscuring the view of the painted water tower and many more trees are visible. The whole area looks busier.

Originally most of this area was an orchard, until the bus station was built in the 1950s, relocated from alongside the riverbank in Church Street.

Winfrey Avenue is a relatively new road as it too was built to accommodate the new bus station. It was named after Sir Richard Winfrey, a Liberal MP, who in 1887 purchased the Spalding Guardian, later extending his business interests to include the Lynn News and Peterborough Advertiser. All three papers later became the East Midlands Allied Press.

He was born at Long Sutton and married into a family of Liberal Lincolnshire MPs. Richard, who lived near Peterborough, was very active as an MP with the Board of Agriculture. He was also the treasurer at the formation of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers, in 1906.