Halifax street scenes from the 1940s

King Edward Street, Halifax, Nostalgia
King Edward Street, Halifax, Nostalgia

Here are two street scenes from Halifax town centre taken at about the same time, probably in the 1940s, judging from the motor vehicles and the pedestrians’ clothing.

Certainly it was taken after 1939, because the tram lines have gone from Commercial Street (left) and tram services ended in that year.

Commercial Street, Halifax, Nostalgia

Commercial Street, Halifax, Nostalgia

What is remarkable about both photos – the other is taken from the top of King Edward Street, of course – is how little has really changed between then and now, 60 or 70 years on.

On a sunny day the old shop blinds were on display; you almost never see them these days.

There is much less traffic on Commercial Street than you would expect today and, of course, the carriageway remains as built, long and straight, before the recent reconfiguration which narrowed the highway, widened the pavements and introduced curved sections, presumably to bring variety to the geometry.

But the buildings are barely changed.

In Commercial Street you can just glimpse part of the sign, bottom right, advertising Webster’s famous but now long gone cafe, at the junction with Silver Street, but otherwise there has been no visible rebuilding along the entire street between the camera and Ward’s End.

In King Edward Street it’s pretty much the same.

Beyond the Halifax Building Society headquarters you can just glimpse the art-deco building that was later replaced by a five-storey office block variously used by the council’s education department and the Halifax itself.

Across the street, on the left, are still the buildings which once housed the Arcade Royale, though the arcade is, of course,long gone, replaced with shops and a pub.