This photograph was taken in 1908 at the junction of Victoria Street, Worcester Street, Cleveland Street and Salop Street.

It shows the scene shortly before the two storey shops in the distance were demolished during the redevelopment of Worcester Street. The fine Georgian house on the corner of Salop Street was occupied by Start & Sons and was also the Midland Railway's Parcel Office. The adjacent house on the corner of Cleveland Street was Garfield's Baker's shop which advertises bread in the window.


This view from 2000 is quite different. The old Start & Sons premises has changed considerably and is now dwarfed by the newer Worcester Street shops. The buildings on the left hand side of Victoria Street remain, only the shops have changed. The opposite side tells a different story. The fine old building on the far corner disappeared when the opposite side of the street was rebuilt in the late 1920's.

This view is of the demolition in Bell Street just before work started on the Mander Centre. The building under demolition was occupied by Midland Disposal who moved to Salop Street.

In the distance is the Odeon cinema and part of the old School Street Schools. The photograph was presumably taken on a Saturday due to the large number of parked cars and the people filling the pavement. Car parking was obviously as big a problem as ever in the late 1960's. Bell Street used to extend from Victoria Street through to Snow Hill until the building of the Wulfrun Centre.


The view today is quite different. The new shops on the right were built at the same time as the Mander Centre. The scene is now dominated by the new Beatties extension.

This timber framed house known locally as Lindy Lou's is the town's most famous building after St Peter's Church. It dates back to the first half of the 16th century, and in the early 17th century was called the Hand Inn.

The building was situated on the corner of John Street which disappeared when the Mander Centre was built. Lindy Lou's was a toy shop, and previously had been a tea shop called The Copper Kettle, and a bakers.


In the late 1970's Lindy Lou's was restored. It was stripped down to its timber frame and completely rebuilt in original style. For a number of years the building was occupied by the Citizen's Advice Bureau which eventually moved to Snow Hill. It is now occupied by a second hand book shop, and collectables shop. The two shops immediately behind Lindy Lou's were added in the early 1980's.

The trolley bus wires are very prominent in this pre-Mander Centre view. In 1777 the fine brick house on the far right was occupied by Walter Stubbs who was a surgeon, and in 1790 it belonged to James Perry.

When this photograph was taken it housed a branch of George Mason the grocer's and Yarnolds. On the ground floor of the next building was Halfords, above which was the Regent Restaurant. The large store in the centre was occupied by Bedford Williams.


Today's scene is quite different, the whole look of the street has changed. The buildings on the far left were replaced by the Mander Centre The modern building in the middle houses amongst others a pub, which has had a variety of names including the Newt & Cucumber, the Litten Tree, and currently the George Wallace. Waterstones book shop is next door. The shops on the right have all changed hands since 2000, when this photograph was taken.

The building in the centre is the Star & Garter which was the town's main hotel. It occupied the site of a house in which King Charles I sheltered during the Civil War, and from this the hotel was named.

The hotel was built in about 1815 and extensively modified in 1836. The trolley bus on the left is a Roe-bodied Sunbeam which was built in the late 1940's. These continued in service until March 1967 when the last trolley buses ran here.



All of the old buildings in this part of Victoria Street have now disappeared. The area was extensively redeveloped when the Mander Centre was built in the late 1960's.

All that remains to commemorate the Star & Garter Hotel is a blue plaque.

Beatties is the most famous department store in town. It started life in 1877 as a small drapers shop in Victoria Street and was called the 'Victoria Draper Supply Store'.

The store was founded by James Beattie who started with a capital of just £300 and employed two assistants. By 1895 he had an annual turnover of £30,000 and had a staff of forty. The original premises on the eastern side of Victoria Street was badly damaged by fire in 1896.

This led to the relocation and expansion of the business on the opposite side of the street. As the business prospered adjacent premises were purchased and the store grew in size. The first photograph was taken before 1929 when the store was rebuilt. James Beattie, the founder, died in 1934.


The current store had a three million pound facelift in 1989, which included the installation of escalators.

In 1992 the store reached its present size when it was extended into 80 Victoria Street. 

On the right is one of the entrances to the Queen's Arcade, which had a delightful Victorian-style cast iron and glass roof.

The Empire Palace in the centre was opened in 1898. It was built on the site of the Cheapside Tavern which was a pub that included music hall as part of its range of entertainment. The building was in a Moorish style and was well known for its music hall and variety shows. It became the Hippodrome in 1921.



Today's scene is very different. The Queen's Arcade was demolished to make way for the Mander Centre, and the Hippodrome was destroyed by fire in 1956. It was replaced by a Times Furnishing store which in turn was redeveloped into Yates's Wine Lodge. Beatties now occupies all of the top end of the western side of Victoria Street.

The clock was built to commemorate Beatties 100th anniversary.

Victoria Street curves down towards the old Pudding brook which is now culverted, and a boggy area which was called Boblake. It was originally called Tunwall Street which means town well street.

Later  the name was changed to Cock Street, after the Cock Inn, and in 1866 when Queen Victoria visited here, it became Victoria Street. On the left is A. M. Deans ladies outfitters, and on the right is Beatties department store and Tylers Bootmarket.



None of the original buildings now survive.

The Mander Centre replaced the buildings on the left, and Beatties rebuilds in 1929 and subsequently, have completely changed the western side of the street. 

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