VISITS

Friday, 27 September 2013

The old Watch House.

The Watch House. The building on the left was then Boot's the Chemist and today is a Chinese Restaurant

This Watch House stood at the marketplace end of the old Town Bridge (opposite where Clark's tobacconist is now) and was demolished in 1913 when the present town bridge was built. It was erected when the old bridge was built in the early 1800's, and had been devoted to various uses. In turn it had been a watchman's shelter, a rate collector's office, and a tobacconists kiosk. 
Mr T Thompson, when he was Poor Rate collector, used to occupy it, and ratepayers went there to pay their rates amidst surroundings of cobwebs and dust, and powdered plaster. Then it was let to Mr John Naylor, for a tobacconists shop. It was a landmark, and had the appearance of antiquity, but it was a gigantic fraud. It was built of bricks and mortar, and covered with plaster. It was suggested that it should be removed to the park and preserved as a relic, but at a meeting of the Paving and Lighting Committee it was not regarded as a relic worthy of preservation, and it was ordered to be demolished. Perhaps they were right all those years ago but I for one wish it had been preserved so we could see it today.

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