The Now and Then column with Aled Jones: Changes on Bridlington’s King Street

The postmark on this black and white postcard of King Street is dated 1950.The postmark on this black and white postcard of King Street is dated 1950.
The postmark on this black and white postcard of King Street is dated 1950.
Aled Jones, who is an avid collector of Bridlington-based vintage postcards, has sent in another ‘now and then’ comparision of a classic town scene for people to enjoy.

This time Mr Jones focuses on King Street thanks to a fantastic postcard dating back to 1950 – showing both changes and the constants.

Mr Jones said: “Here is a fabulous vintage postcard showing one of Bridlington’s iconic thoroughfares, King Street, looking east up Prince Street. The postmark on the back is dated 1950 which therefore makes the black and white photograph over 70 years old.

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“If you compare it with the modern replication taken today, there are both strong similarities and quite a few differences, especially on the left hand side of the street.

King Street as it looks today.King Street as it looks today.
King Street as it looks today.

“Historically, King Street dates back to the late 17th Century when local landowners the Lords Feoffees granted building leases across an area of land known as Bridlington Moor.

“In the late 18th Century King Street was renowned for for its elegant private houses all with large gardens at the rear. Most were owned by merchants and master mariners.

“The building currently occupied by Superdrug was built in the late 1700s for John Pitts and with its three-storey, five-bay design must have looked stunning. By the 1880s most of the frontages had been ripped out and replaced by inserted shop windows, a crying shame because it spoiled the intrinsic character of the street.

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“Dominating King Street today is, of course, the town’s popular public library (number 14), which opened as the Borough Library in 1937. It was originally York City and County Bank and expertly rebuilt in 1898 for the Midland Bank. A series of extensions were added in 1966 and 1973.

“On the left side of the street, is the famous Boyes store, but this is a wholly modern building, built as Hammonds in 1970. The site used to be occupied by a high class milliner and draper store, built in 1857. This building became Carlton’s department store in 1911, the coronation year of George V and his wife Mary, but sadly demolished in 1968.

“A few doors down from Carlton’s was the town’s first Boots store (number 23), now occupied by Cex. Another renowned British company, Marks and Spencer, also had their first Bridlington shop at 34 King Street, afterwards moving to larger premises on Prince Street. The street’s oldest continuously run business is the apt-named King’s Arms, remarkably dating back to the reign of George IV.

“King Street has had its fair share of prominent residents. It was thanks to the influence of one such man, Arthur Strickland, chairman of the Harbour Commissioners, that the town’s North and South Piers were rebuilt in 1848, laying the foundations of the modern fishing port.”