Two Newcastle city centre street views show the changes that have taken place over the last 45 years.
We’re looking at the Cloth Market as it was in March 1972, and the corresponding scene today.
To be fair, the general shape and architecture on the right side of the view is relatively unchanged.
One noticeable difference is the Midland Bank building which is today home to Flares nightspot.
There was a bank at this spot, on the corner of Mosley Street and the Cloth Market, from 1897. It cashed its last cheque in July, 1983.
The major change from four and a half decades ago is the absence of the old Town Hall on the left.
The one-time grand old building had been left to decline and was very much down at heel by 1972.
Built between 1858 and 1863, it was home to Newcastle’s Local seat of government long before the opening of the new Civic Centre in the late 1960s.
The old building was left to rot over the decades, and its tower was demolished in the 1930s.
By 1965, one report read: “Newcastle’s old Town Hall is a monstrosity to begin with, but now derelict, dilapidated and filthy, it’s a nightmare.”
By the late 1960s, the Town Hall was home to a winter zoo which housed lions, tigers, monkeys, exotic birds and snakes!
It was demolished in 1973 and replaced by a period-design office, shop and leisure complex, Cathedral Square.
The Town Hall itself was built on the site of Middle Street which was demolished in 1858.
The Cloth Market was one of several medieval Newcastle markets clustered around St Nicholas’ church (later cathedral).
The Bigg Market and Groat Market were in close proximity, of course.
At the old Cloth Market, popular fairs were held every August and October when linen and blankets were sold ahead of the impending winter.
The area was also home to the Flesh Market and Fish Market at different times, and traders found the nearby Lort Burn – which ran down where Grey Street and Grey Street are today – handy for throwing animal waste into. It smelled badly, apparently!
Like, much of Newcastle, the Cloth Market has a long, interesting history.
Source : Chroniclelive