Tear Down the Wall! Bring Back the Cross! Reconnecting Nelson Street & the High Street
Saturday, February 22nd @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
An illustrated talk by Tim Mars
Nelson Street today is cut off from the High Street by a road (Cornhill) and a barrier wall constructed in the 1970s. Stroud Civic Society is drawing up proposals to demolish the wall, redesign the road to make crossing easier and more attractive, and so reconnect Nelson Street to the High Street. Come to the meeting to hear about our plans and contribute your own ideas!
Cornhill was the first phase of the subsequently abandoned east and north flank of the town centre bypass. Alongside this road a wall was built at the top of the High Street—nicknamed ‘the Berlin Wall’ because beyond it lies the No Man’s Land of the Cornhill bypass. It separates Nelson Street from the High Street both physically and visually. The wall says ‘That’s it folks! Nothing beyond here! Turn back!’ Nelson Street—previously a natural extension of the High Street with its own range of shops and businesses—is now cut off and businesses struggle to attract trade from the High Street across the emphatic full stop of the Berlin Wall. Some have taken to erecting A-boards at the top of the High street to lure people to venture beyond the wall and across the road.
The area obliterated by the new road was known as The Cross. It was the busy, bustling heart of the town, accommodating the market, the town well and pump and, later, the stocks. In 1866, the pump was converted into a drinking fountain with four sculptured dolphins. The fountain was demolished by an army truck in the 1940s, but one of the carved dolphins is in Stroud Museum. As well as severing the High Street from Nelson Street, Cornhill and the Berlin Wall trashed the historic heart of Stroud.
Our proposals envisage reïnstating the town cross and, above all, turning the junction into a place for people instead of a space for cars.
All welcome! Come to the meeting to hear about our plans and contribute your own ideas! We would particularly welcome Nelson Street residents and traders.
Cost: Free to members, £3 Non-members