25 years ago this week: Thursday, April 23, 1987

BAN cars from Alnwick’s Market Place and make the entire area a pedestrian precinct – that was the idea put before the town’s traders last week.

But some do not like the scheme.

Coun Melvin Hornsby, speaking at a meeting of Alnwick’s Chamber of Trade, put forward an idea to pedestrianise Alnwick’s Market Place doing away with the car park.

Mr Hornsby later explained that the pedestrianisation would still allow service vehicles to drop off goods in the square, but would only leave six out of the present 60 parking spaces left.

The area could then be changed into a pleasant spot for people to sit, talk and watch the entertainment during the Fair and Festival on a permanent stage.

Coun Hornsby, who owns the Tavern Restaurant in the Market Place, said it would attract many people to the town.

It’s a view, however, that has brought fierce opposition from shopkeepers in the market square.

Mr Ken Kim, who owns a number of properties in the Market Place, said: “If this becomes a pedestrianised area it would drastically affect my trade.

“There is little enough car parking space, never mind taking away another 60 places.

“It has been proved in the past that it would affect shops in the Market Place.

“Twenty years ago, when the bus station was moved from here, leaving nothing, the Market Place died.

“If this car park were removed, the Market Place would become a small ghost town.

“People would only sit around the place for three months in the year and the rest of the time it would be empty with the cold weather.”

Mr Kim was supported by another trader in the square.

Mr J Mattison, who owns the paint and wallpaper shop in the Market Place, said: “If the car park was taken away, the people who would usually park and visit the shops would no longer do so.

“It would be good during the summer, but would become like a ghost town in the winter,” he added.