This time Mr. Jones is focusing on King Street thanks to a wonderful 1950s postcard – showing both change and permanence.
Mr Jones said: “This is a wonderful vintage postcard looking east of one of Birdlington’s famous streets, King Street, towards Prince Street. And the white picture is more than 70 years old.
“If you compare it to today’s modern copy, there are strong similarities and significant differences between the two, especially on the left side of the street.
“Historically, King Street dates back to the late 17th century when local landowners, Lord Feufis, leased a building on land known as the Birdlington Moore.
At the end of the 18th century, King Street was famous for its beautiful private houses with large gardens behind them. Most of them were owned by merchants and master mariners.
The building currently occupied by Super Drug was built for John Pitts in the late 1700s and with its three-story, five-bay design must have looked stunning. The shop windows were torn down and replaced, which was a shame because it spoiled the interior of the street.
Today, dominating King Street is, of course, the town’s most popular public library (No. 14), which opened as the Borough Library in 1937. It was originally York City and County Bank and was renamed the Midland Bank in 1898. A series of extensions were added in 1966 and 1973.
“On the left side of the street is the famous Boys Store, but it’s a completely modern building, named after Hammonds in 1970. It was occupied by a high-end Milner and Draper’s store, which Built in 1857. The building became Carlton’s department store in 1911, the year of the coronation of George V and his wife Mary, but sadly it was demolished in 1968.
Just downstairs from Carlton was the town’s first boat store (No. 23), now in Cex’s possession. Another well-known British company, Marks & Spencer, also had its first Birdlington store on 34 King Street. Later moved to the main campus of Prince Street, the oldest continuous business on the street, called King’s Arms, which dates back to the time of George IV.
“King Street has its share of prominent residents. It was thanks to the influence of one such man, Arthur Strickland, chairman of the Harbor Commissioners, that the town’s north and south piers were rebuilt in 1848, Founded the modern port of Gary.