Mercury’s Picture Past, June 30, 1967
PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 July 2017
Many things look different with the benefit of hindsight, and 50 years offers plenty of it – but a major development being proposed for Weston back in 1967 looks very different here in 2017.
That’s because architects’ blueprints for the town’s main police station in Walliscote Road were unveiled for the first time in the Mercury edition of June 30 all those years ago.
An artist’s impression was showcased to councillors, who spoke up in favour of a five-storey proposal which they described as ‘a very nice building’.
Fast-forward five decades however, and the building’s future looks bleak, albeit after many years of solid service to the town.
That’s because the station is now earmarked for demolition after being deemed ‘no longer fit for purpose’.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has now built a replacement response base near to junction 21 of the M5, and officers and services are being transferred elsewhere – some are already in place at the new base, while others are operating out of Weston Town Hall.
The station itself, which was generating so much excitement 50 years ago, will be pulled down later this year to make way for upmarket new housing in a scheme masterminded by North Somerset Council.
Also in the headlines 50 years ago this week:
* Bleadon villagers turned out in force to try to block the reopening of a nearby quarry.
Some 100 people packed a public meeting to speak out against a proposal they described as ‘sheer desecration’ of the countryside.
Their pleas fell on deaf ears.
* There were calls for Weston to make better use of its airport.
The town’s airfield – another area since disused and replaced principally by housing – ‘could be another Gatwick’ according to councillors, who described its under-use as a ‘criminal waste’.
* A political defector was making headlines.
Former Weston mayor Francis Boyd had quit his position with the Labour Party and taken up a role with the Conservative Party.
* Ashcombe House Maternity Hospital was celebrating its 21st anniversary.
The former war hospital had been converted in 1946, but would close for good in the 1980s.