Nostalgia with Margaret Watson: The changing face of Dewsbury

TOWN'S TRANSFORMATION Shops in Northgate and on the corner of Corporation Street being demolished to make way for the London and Yorkshire Bank in 1890.
TOWN'S TRANSFORMATION Shops in Northgate and on the corner of Corporation Street being demolished to make way for the London and Yorkshire Bank in 1890.

Looking at old pictures of Dewsbury like these, gives us some idea of how Dewsbury has changed over the years.

The top picture was taken in 1890 when shops in Northgate and on the corner of Corporation Street were being demolished to make way for the London and Yorkshire bank, now Nat West Bank.

DEWSBURY MATTERS More demolition work takes place in Northgate around 1910.

DEWSBURY MATTERS More demolition work takes place in Northgate around 1910.

Unfortunately, last week we were unable to show this picture to its full potential, and so we use it this week and with more detail.

If you look carefully, you can catch a glimpse of what was one of the oldest pubs in Dewsbury – The Fleece Inn.

This pub raised thousands of pounds for the old Dewsbury Hospital in Moorlands Road, which sadly went the same way as the Fleece – demolished in the 1980s, long before its time.

Also on this picture, if you have patience and a magnifying glass, you can see a rather misty glimpse of the Pioneer Building in the distance.

DEWSBURY MATTERS More demolition work takes place in Northgate around 1910.

DEWSBURY MATTERS More demolition work takes place in Northgate around 1910.

The other two pictures, showing demolition work taking place in Northgate, were taken around 1910.

The buildings were being pulled down to make way for new shops – like WHSmiths and the Queensway and Kingsway Arcades.

I had to smile when I saw the photograph showing the policeman standing in front of the horse and cart. Was he giving him a parking ticket?

Also, it is interesting to note the tram stop on the right, and the young men looking at what was going on across the road.

I wonder if their descendants are still around in Dewsbury to see what is going on now.

These two pictures were taken on both sides of Northgate, and like the one at the top, were kindly provided by Stuart Hartley, chairman of Dewsbury Matters, a local history group which is continually safeguarding our history.