An new feeling of optimism about the future of the town centre prevailed in Darlaston, as building work on the new town centre started in 1978. The derelict shops had now been demolished, and new buildings were appearing in their place. The town's new library, built a little later was the 'jewel in the crown', with its prominent position at the bottom of King Street.

As the remains of the demolished shops are cleared from the site, work begins on the ASDA store. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.

The first sign of what was to come, was the erection of the structural steelwork for the ASDA store. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.

The beginnings of the new store and the new High Street, as seen from the Owen Memorial Gardens. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.

A view of the building site from St. Lawrence Way with Lloyds Bank in the background, and the United Methodist Church on the right. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.

Looking across the site towards St. Lawrence's Church. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.


The completed ASDA store, as seen from John Wootton House. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


Another view of the ASDA store and the new High Street from John Wootton House. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The new High Street looking towards ASDA. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The new ASDA store seen from St. Lawrence Way. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The ASDA store and car park off New Street. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The new store seen from the Owen Memorial Gardens. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The site of the now disappeared New Road. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.
 
Darlaston's last Council-run public toilets off King Street. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The new High Street looking towards the ASDA store. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


Jowetts in High Street was the longest surviving family-run business in the town. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.

The interior of The Sister Dora Hospice Appeal Fund Shop in High Street. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.

Another view of the interior of The Sister Dora Hospice Appeal Fund Shop. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The new shops at the top of King Street. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


A similar, and slightly earlier view, before the new street lighting was installed. The John Menzies store soon closed. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.


A closer view of the John Menzies store. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.


The shops in King Street, opposite High Street. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.

Looking down High Street towards King Street. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.

Looking across High Street, from the John Menzies store. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.

Looking into High Street from King Street. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.


The White Lion. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.


Kingstons, one of the town's best known butchers. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


An affluent-looking King Street on a market day in 1999. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


Another view of the busy market. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


All kinds of items were for sale including clothes, household items, food, and garden plants. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.

On the left is an ornament and crockery stall, and in the distance is a display of plants. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


More clothes stalls. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The stall run by Darlaston's once well-known florist, 'Flowers For All Occasions'. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.

An impression of a typical busy Saturday in King Street in the late 1990s. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.

Sadly the market was forced to close at the end of 2010, leaving an almost deserted King Street behind. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.

The last major building project at this time was the town's new library. Seen here from John Wootton House. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


Another view of the building work seen from John Wootton House. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


Work quickly progresses on the new library. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


When the library had been completed, the remaining old shops on the western side of King Street were demolished. Some of them were older than previously thought, because medieval timbers were discovered inside. Unfortunately the buildings were demolished on Sunday 31st January, 1988, before an archaeological survey could be carried out. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The demolition site is cleaned-up. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


A final view of King Street, towards the end of the last century. Courtesy of the late Howard Madeley.


The late 1970s monument commemorating the old Bull Stake. Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.
The plaque commemorating the Bull Stake, which was unveiled in the late 1970s and is still there today. It can be seen in the photograph above.

Taken by Richard Ashmore. Courtesy of John and Christine Ashmore.


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