Shropshire Star

Church Stretton 100 years ago: The timeless beauty of Shropshire's Little Switzerland

Let's step back in time almost 100 years and wander the streets of Church Stretton where, as you can see, not much has changed over the decades.

Church Stretton High Street in about 1930.

Businesses have naturally come and gone, but this postcard which Peter Smith of Dothill in Telford has just added to his collection shows that the town centre scene is not much different, at least so far as the buildings go.

Church Stretton High Street in about 1930.

We are in the High Street and there's just one car in sight.

Peter says this postcard was never posted.

"It was published by a company based in Shrewsbury, I believe – R M & S Ltd.

"It really does capture a moment in time. Ladies’ cloche hats are always a clue as to the time period. I am going for circa 1930. The town’s older elderly residents will know better.

"There are more clues. There's the historic Plough Inn in the left foreground, which closed in the late 1940s.

"Then there's the Bullnose Morris motor car parked in the distance, 'The Hotel,' the Harry Boult shop selling fish, game and poultry, and the Pope shop – house decorator and plumber."

One of the big changes to have affected Church Stretton's centre since Peter's old postcard picture was taken is out of shot on the photographer's left.

A modern comparison view shows the buildings substantially the same.

What is now The Square was once the site of Church Stretton's town hall. This is the diamond jubilee year of its disappearance, as it was demolished as unsafe in July 1963, and there can only be a relatively small number of Stretton folk who remember it.

Another town centre feature which was lost was the drinking fountain which stood opposite Burway House. It is said to have been dismantled in that same year, 1963.

Peter adds: "When I came down to Shropshire from Yorkshire in 1996, I took to Church Stretton straight away. Plus Broseley!"