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24 September 2014

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You are in: Derby > Memoryshare > Westfield - as it was...

Eagle Street 1937

Eagle Street 1937

Westfield - as it was...

It's now the Westfield Centre - it used to be the Eagle Centre - but what was it like before that? Historian Derek Palmer can help refresh your memory...

So it's now known as Westfield Derby.

Before that, it was the Eagle Centre. When it opened in November 1975, it cost around £7 million to build and provided a shopping centre, theatre, covered market and basement car park.

What was it before that?

The answer is - housing and it dated back pre-1850. But it wasn't particularly nice.

Historian Derek Palmer reminds us that there's a clue in the name as one of the old streets of the area was Eagle Street. It ran from The Spot, down what became the ramp into the shopping centre alongside Woolworths, and on as far as the Morledge, roughly where the old bus station was.

There was also Devonshire Street, Union Street, Bloom Street, Albion Place, Earl Street and more.

Demolition of Castle Street

Farewell to Castle Street

Castle Street was the old walk from London Road into the Main Centre. It had the Colosseum pub on the corner, close to (but not actually on the site of) the old Colosseum church (which was further down).

Further along was Borough's Walk - the road behind some of the Main Centre shops which hled to a small, open car park. Down there was Traffic Street School.

It's all long-gone - but Derek Palmer oversaw a lot of the demolition of the area in the 1950s and '60s.

He told BBC Radio Derby's Alex Trelinski: "This whole area - from [The Spot] to Traffic Street, right down to Cock Pitt Hill and to the Morledge was all houses.

"It was marvellous when this was cleared to look right across the area.

"I remember, we pulled all the timber from these houses out into the middle [of the Eagle Street area] and then one night, at about three o'clock in the morning, we set fire to it in the middle of this big area... and the fire engines had to come because the heat from the fire was so intense that it was affecting the old Gaumont front (now Zanzibar) and they had to spray it to keep it cool!"

Your memories

Did you live in the Eagle Street area? What was it like? How were the conditions? When did you move and where to?

Or do you remember the Eagle Centre being built or opening? What were your impressions of it? How did it affect shopping in Derby?

Share those memories with everyone else - and you'll have a lasting online record of that special day to show to your friends and family.

How do I add my memories?

Use the "Add Memory" link on the right of this page to access the Memoryshare area. There, you can also see other people's memories from the Memoryshare timeline.

Do I need to register?

To be able to add your own memories to Memoryshare you need to have a BBC Log-on.

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last updated: 27/09/07

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