Traffic problems drove plans for pedestrianisation

HDC photo of old West Street Horsham
HDC photo of old West Street Horsham

The photo shows the problem that West Street in Horsham faced as early as the 1950s - traffic.

Turning part of the road into a ‘car park’ didn’t help matters.

Various schemes had been suggested and tried including having a one-way street.

However back in 1978, West Sussex County Council as the highway authority bit the bullet and West Street was pedestrianised.

Although the town saw major redevelopment in 1989-91 the main part of West Street didn’t.

It did see the redevelopment of the bottom end of Swan Walk, but that to a large extent was behind the buildings.

So in many respects what is taking place in 2013 is the first major enhancement of West Street since 1978, some 35 years ago.

The photo, circa 1955, shows Russell and Bromley in a property known as The Golden Boot.

The Golden Boot was established in Horsham in 1849.

Russell and Bromley has a Horsham connection in that Bromley was a descendant of the Bromley clockmakers, who traded in West Street back in the 1800s.

It was Bromley who the soldiers from the Barracks in Worthing Road/Cricket Field bought the silver watches from, coated them in grease and then cooked them for a lark.