Stepping back in time to visit Falkirk town centre in the 1960s

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It was in the early years of the swinging sixties and Falkirk town centre was far from a traffic-free zone as these pictures show.

The pedestrianisation scheme was still some way off but, as shoppers frequented some of the well-known names on the High Street of the time, there was a major transformation going on.

Falkirk High Street as it was in 1962

Falkirk High Street as it was in 1962

Work was proceeding apace on the new shopping centre at Callendar Riggs and, as The Falkirk Herald reported at the time, the huge crane brought in to help erect the giant sculpture was drawing a lot of attention from readers, so much so that a reporter was dispatched to find out more about this ‘mechnical monster’.

They were able to report that the crane was 62 feet high, had an 87-foot jib and a 42-foot cantilever.

Powered by electricity, it was mounted on a 12ft 6in railway that enabled it to run the entire length of Callendar Riggs.

It was being used to lift cast concrete, slabs, reinforceent material and shuttering.

Building work was said to be progressing well with around 70 men employed on the site – 85 per cent of whom were local – and that figure was expected to rise to 120 as the project went on.

By the November of 1962, 19,000 cubic yards of soil had been removed from the basement area, with 2500 cubic yards of concrete laid.

It was expected that the shopping centre would be completed in a further 16 months but site agent George Cooper warned that a dispute in the building industry could slow things down until agreement was reached with the trade union.