Poole High Street has seen many changes over the years, none so big as the construction of the Arndale Centre in the 1960s and 1970s. Construction of the Arndale Centre started in 1967 changing the landscape of the area of Poole near  St Georges roundabout and Kingland Road.

Phase 1 of the Arndale Centre opened in 1969 and Phase 2 was due to commence soon after.  The economic crises of the 1970s led to Phase Two of the Arndale development being abandoned in 1975, only to be revived two years later.

Bournemouth Echo: The Regent Theatre before demolitionThe Regent Theatre before demolition

Many of Poole's old buildings including the Regent Theatre were demolished to make way for the Arndale Centre development and the Towngate Bridge.

Poole council planning officer Graham Rogers told the public inquiry: “This town would have died a long time ago if it hadn’t been for the Arndale Centre, contrary to popular belief.”

A topping-out ceremony for Phase Two took place in March 1984 the building was to include three more shops, a rooftop car park, and a town square, which was to be named Falkland Square to mark the town’s links with the forces that had served in that year’s war with Argentina.

From Faulkland Square down the High Street, the major changes were the introduction of the pedestrian areas from the Railway Crossing to Orchard Road in the late 1980s.  Before then the high street had been noted for being congested and dangerous for pedestrians.  

Bournemouth Echo: Poole High Street. Photo: Grahame Austin CllectionPoole High Street. Photo: Grahame Austin Cllection

But for many, it is the shops that have been and gone that have been the biggest change for Poole High Street.  Favorite stores that are no longer trading such as Woolworth, Cantors, Frisby's, Courts, Fads and many more, some of which feature in this nostalgic selection of images captured by Grahame Austin. 

Bournemouth Echo: Fads in the Poole High Street near Old Orchard Road.Fads in the Poole High Street near Old Orchard Road.