Wrexham August 1970.
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The building in the centre foreground of this image is the Wrexham Baths, now known as Waterworld Leisure and Activity Centre. It was constructed between 1965 and 1967 of reinforced concrete and the roof design is a 'hyperbolic paraboloid’. Through the tall glass windows can be seen the diving boards for the separate diving pool, one of three different pools the building held. The construction of the baths marked the beginning of the redevelopment of this part of Wrexham.
In the bottom right of the photograph is the back of the Victoria public house and its associated outbuildings. This building, and the others of similar character on the other side of Farndon Street, extending towards the left hand edge of the photograph give some indication of how this area of Wrexham was allowed to develop in a piecemeal nature. The grass covered open ground was originally the site of a row of houses, and although demolished, the property boundary still exists and the land behind reused for a variety of different purposes. The large isolated house to the right of the baths was built behind what was formerly another row of terrace houses known as Holt Street Terrace. The different colour of soil and the fragments of front wall can be seen next to the pavement leading out of the right hand side of the frame as an indication of their former position.
Above the Baths, to the left and right respectively are Council Offices and the War Memorial Hall respectively. The partly built road running diagonally right below the baths is Bodhyfryd, which is now a section of the Wrexham town centre inner ring road. The large rectangular grass covered field was later developed with the construction of the Police Station and Law Courts.
The Groves Secondary School is the collection of large, angular buildings above the grass covered field. This school closed in 2002 when it was merged with St. David’s Secondary School and Ysgol Bryn Offa and collectively renamed Ysgol Rhosnesni. The buildings (2011) are still vacant.
Chester Street runs through the centre of the frame from left to right. Wrexham’s War Memorial Hospital had by this time spread to the edge of Chester Street, and the original hospital buildings face onto Rhosddu Road to the left of the hospital chimney.
Housing makes up the majority of the property visible in the rest of the photograph, and gives an idea of how different areas of the town and its growing suburbs became fashionable or unfashionable places to live. Each area having a distinctive character and also illustrating the change in housing styles.
In the very top left of the image can be seen the Racecourse, Wrexham F.C.’s ground and next to it, the Yale Sixth Form College. Running across the photograph, just in front of these buildings is the Wrexham – Chester railway line.
(Description by Spencer Gavin Smith).