Vocal locals disliked Quadrant shopping centre clock

A busy shopping scene in Dunstable, photographed in 1970.

Quadrant shopping centre in 1970
Quadrant shopping centre in 1970

It shows the Quadrant’s Broadwalk shopping mall, viewed from High Street North, with the James Walker jewellery shop on the left corner and a carpet store on the right.

The Peter Robinson clothes shop is in the distance, behind the old Quadrant clock.

The centre, opened in 1966, with comedian Bob Monkhouse performing the official ceremony, was a bold initiative by Dunstable to keep up with the times by providing a shopping area free from traffic.

It was much more popular than its centrepiece clock, a modern mixture of metal tubing and transparent coloured panels which was heartily disliked by vocal locals.

It was demolished, unmourned, in 1987 and its remnants dumped in Grove House Gardens.

As with so many things, it is now remembered with nostalgia by those who once arranged to meet their friends “under the clock”.

Colour photos of this period are quite scarce.

This picture was taken by the late John Lunn, who was headmaster of Beecroft School and a founder member of Dunstable and District Local History Society.

> A collection of photos from the Gazette’s Yesteryear series, together with matching colour pictures of the scenes today, has now been published in book form.

It’s titled Dunstable Through Time and is available from Yesteryear’s compiler, John Buckledee, at 69 Derwent Drive, Dunstable, LU6 3PB price £17, which includes the costs of postage and packing.