Spalding then and now: High Bridge

Remember High Bridge in Spalding as it looked in 1960?
Remember High Bridge in Spalding as it looked in 1960?
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Spalding & District Civic Society is sharing with readers a series of pictures showing changes in Spalding over the last 50 years.

High Bridge was opened in 1838 and replaced a wooden bridge. It was named Coronation Bridge in honour of the new queen but soon reverted back to its popular name.

Looking north from London Road, this scene has changed out of all recognition. Gone are all the riverside warehouses in Double Street, which were seen at the time to have no further use. Today we might have converted them into riverside apartments. Gone is the Ramskin Inn; gone is Berrills’ department store.

On the right it is difficult to believe that Johnson’s four-storey warehouse and ironmonger’s shop stood on the riverside in Churchgate. Most of this demolition was done for road widening and traffic flow – the fashion of the time. London Road was then the main A16 and High Bridge a major junction. The White Horse is now revealed to advantage.

London Road has been widened and a footpath added by narrowing the river with steel piling. A new footbridge, the Taku, has replaced the iron foot bridge which was built in the 1950s to accommodate the large numbers of pedestrians arriving at the main bus station, then located in front of Ayscoughfee Hall.

The New Bell is no longer a pub but has been carefully restored as offices.

Dominating the scene is our new South Holland Centre, built originally in 1971 on the site of a Victorian Corn Exchange and rebuilt recently to become a most useful and well run venue for all sorts of activities.

We have lost a large part of our historic legacy around High Bridge and the riverside vista has changed completely but the new aspects are equally important to the town’s character. It is vital that we retain and look after what remains of our architectural heritage.

If you would like to join the Civic Society telephone 01775 767923 for details.