Silver Street and George Street/Square

Silver Street and George Street/Square

George Street (George's Square)

Looking up George Street as it appeared in the twenties. The last of these properties on the right was demolished just before the 1939-1945 war (including the Halifax Guardian offices near the top right). Shops below the Courier offices were mostly destroyed by a runaway lorry.

When is a street not a square? Or, to put it another way, when is a Square not a Street?

There seems to be a perpetual confusion over whether the road and precinct in the centre of Halifax should be called George Street or George Square. Matters are not helped by the fact that on one side a nameplate pronounces George Square, while on the other side another - a newer one - states that the avenue is George Street. And the addresses of businesses are given either as Square or Street, not always according to which nameplate is at their side.

It is a confusing state of affairs that has a historical explanation, as this week's picture shows. At one time there definitely was both a George Street and a George Square, the latter below the former. The picture, from the 1920's, shows what was George Street, before the properties on the right were demolished, creating the broader thoroughfare we know today. The duel name given to the area is a legacy of it's older, built up days.

It looks as if demolition was already under way when this picture was taken, for there are exposed stones visible on the far right edge. Properties on the left are still recognisable, with the Griffin, now called Griff's(Bow legged with Brass), visible at the top, and the familiar outline of Bull Green glimpsed at the top of the street. Buses depart from George Street today, but in the 1920's, of course, there was a tram stop.

Evening Courier 'Flashback' article 1992

Silver Street

Silver Street rises up to the left of picture and Argyle Street  rises to the right

A much older view of Silver Street

Silver Street in 1868

Argyle Street

The Sportsman Inn was formerly known as the 'Rose and Crown Inn' and is commonly thought to be the place that Daniel Defoe penned Robinson Crusoe on one of his many visits to the Inn. He visited Halifax many times in the early part of the 18th century, and he wrote a valuable account of the local trade.

Back of the Sportsman which was apparently the front in its early days.

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