Prompted by the main Nostalgia article about the history of Nos 2&3, High Street, High Wycombe, we take a look this week at how the High Street has developed over the last 150 years or so.

To do this we are showing images taken from the website Sharing Wycombe’s Old Photographs,

Traditionally the High Street was the main thoroughfare through a town and therefore the location of all the important shops and businesses.

High Wycombe, with its wide uncluttered High Street, was no exception.

Unfortunately that is no longer the case today.

1. So for the last 30 years or so much of the High Street has been pedestrianised, with very limited access for motor vehicles. Such arrangements have to be enforced! Much of the street is now being repaved by Buckinghamshire County Council at a budgeted cost of £400,000.

Bucks Free Press:

2. This view, taken in the 1870s, is looking west along the High Street, in the middle of which is a strategically placed gas-lamp!

Bucks Free Press:

3. With the coming of motor vehicles things began to change, c.1930.

Bucks Free Press:

4. Wycombe was still trying to cling on to traditional functions when this picture was taken on a market day in July 1957.

At peak times traffic could come to a standstill. No wonder High Wycombe became known as the town that nearly died of traffic. Things were soon to change though with the construction of the M40 and relief road.

Bucks Free Press:

5. Taken in c.1900, this view is of virtually the whole length of the High Street. Note the Rupert Gates, which were the main entrance to the Wycombe Abbey Estate, in the left foreground.

They were soon to be moved to about half-way up Marlow Hill. Following the opening of the Borough Electric Light and Power Company Works in March 1899 the street-lighting is now provided by a series of electric lamps on either side of the road.

Bucks Free Press: