A new chapter in town’s history

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AN elderly man was carrying a picture of himself and his late wife when he drowned in the River Derwent.

The £17m new-look town centre was given the royal seal of approval and officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The work, described as a “happy marriage of conservation and renewal” saw a large area between Low Pavement and New Beetwell Street completely demolished to build The Pavements shopping centre.

The royal couple opened the work in November, 1981.

Original plans, which would have seen the market hall disappear, were scrapped after a petition was signed by 34,000 shoppers anxious to preserve the town’s historic building.

The work included the £12m shopping complex, market hall renovation and multi-storey car park.

Plans for the next phase of

regeneration were in the pipeline with proposals to house the library in a £3m complex on the site of the recently-vacated police station.

Former town councillor Ernest Robinson declared the outcome, “the most wonderful town-centre ever developed” and “what the people of Chesterfield wanted”.

For more photos see the Derbyshire Times.