The Black & White Picture Place

Old Photographs & Drawings of Chester

George Street yesterday and today

Viewed from the North Wall, this Methodist chapel once stood on the corner of George Street and Victoria Road, which led to the Northgate railway station.
The photograph shows the chapel in the course of demolition to make way for the new Delamere Street Bus Station. The railings in the foreground separating the road from the canal are the only things in the picture still surviving today.

A rather fuzzy photograph of George Street, looking towards Northgate Street soon after the chapel on the left was demolished. The row of buildings in the centre of the picture were soon to join it.
The Royal George Hotel may be seen on the right- and in the other old photographs. It was soon to disappear also and today its site is utilised as a car park.

Another view of the Royal George Hotel on the corner of George Street and Victoria Road, photographed around 1971. More views of it are in our vanished pubs gallery.
Behind it stands the George Street School, which survives today, until recently housing a YMCA youth project. In 1999, Cheshire County Council sold the building around their ears "to the highest bidder" and it was likely to be converted into offices, while the YMCA continue to search for a new home. But no, the place remains empty in 2013 but it was recently announced it would form part of a new student housing development.
The tall blocks of flats in the background, brand new when this picture was taken, are on the St. Oswald's Way section of the newly-built Inner Ring Road.

Standing with the City Wall behind us and Delamere Street seen in the background, here is the fascinating sight of an ancient quarry face, lost from view for centuries beneath generations of buildings, most recently the bus station. Note the square slots from where wooden scaffolding to support the quarrymen would once have been suspended. The portion in the foreground has already been reduced to rubble, clearing the way for an underground car park.


Here is the same location as it appeared in a traffic-free moment a quarter of a century later, in 1998. The rather tatty Delamere Street Bus Station stands on the site of the old buildings above and beyond, on the corner of Upper Northgate Street may be seen the Bull and Stirrup pub and, to its left, the Bluecoat School of 1717.The section of Victoria Road just out of shot on the right was chopped off by the Inner Ring Road and now merely forms part of a loop, with Delamere Street, of the one-way traffic system. To our left, the railings seen the the old photograph of the chapel above continue to separate George Street from the canal.
The bus station was demolished in early 2006 and new apartment blocks are due to rise on the site soon.

Here we see work underway preparing the ground for the new apartments in April 2008. 'Supervised' by an archaeologist, the digger in the foreground is standing on the lower portion of some ancient building, scooping out large sandstone blocks. The chapel shown in the first picture once stood on the corner immediately behind the diggers. The City Wall is just out of shot to our right. The tall Steam Mill on the canal is visible in the distance.
Nearly two years later, in February 2010, steelwork was in place and huge cranes stood over the site but everything had ground to a halt and no work was done for many months.

super surgery constructionm

Work eventually resumed in late 2012 and here we see a couple of bemused visitors surveying the huge structure from the City Wall. The building is now intended to house a so-called 'super surgery'- it is planned that numerous neighbourhood doctor's surgeries will be closed and the practices moved into this centralised location- a decision that has understandably caused a great deal of local upset. What the rest of the building will be used for is unclear at the moment- but watch this space!

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