Dunstable Gazette photographer Mick Hawes captured this crucial moment during the demolition of the town hall in High Street North, Dunstable, when workmen began the perilous task of removing the top of the clock tower.
The 1880 building, deemed surplus to the town’s requirements after the construction of the Queensway Hall, had been sold by auction in November 1965 and was knocked down the following year.
The Pearl Assurance company paid £35,000 for the site and replaced the town hall with a modern office, now occupied by the Santander bank. The clock face ended up in the rockery of a local garden.
Older readers will remember with affection the two well-established businesses also featured in the photo: Hydes the bakers and the fruit and veg shop (in another landmark building) run by Barney Green.
The historic office next to the town hall was for many years occupied by a well-known family solicitor, Mr Gutteridge. Today, it’s the White Horse pub.
> Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society.