IN today’s risk-averse world, a wonky wall would probably call for a complicated mesh of support scaffolding, a squad of bricklayers, council suits in high-viz vests and hard hats (usually white, but occasionally a fetching shade of red) and chequered tape running round the scene warning “Danger. Do Not Cross”.

Forty-three years ago, in May, 1977 to be exact, thing were a bit different. When the brick wall of a rather ancient property bordering Deansway, Worcester, started to lean like a drunk on a Saturday night, they called in Bill Layton and his truck.

William S Layton was a skilled local building firm and they soon had the problem sorted, courtesy of three timber props. One of which was created by fixing two shorter lengths together, while another was braced on the back of the company’s flatbed.

At least one concession was made to pubic wellbeing – the council closed the little lane, which ran from Deansway to Powick Lane, to traffic, but not pedestrians. Although a determining factor in this decision was probably that cars couldn’t get past anyway because of Layton’s lorry.

In due course, the bricklayers effected a repair, but the whole building came down about ten years later in the CrownGate development.

In fact Deansway, which contains the Old Palace, a building dating back to around 1270 with many royal connections including visits from Elizabeth I, Charles I and the third King George, has seen quite a bit of demolition hellfire over the years.

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It takes travellers virtually from Worcester Bridge to the cathedral, or vice versa, and in the 1960s was the scene of much de-construction mayhem when properties in the former Hounds Lane poor quarter at the bridge end, including the school, were pulled down. The second phase of Worcester Technical College was subsequently built on the site.

Then in June 1982, morning commuters were greeted by the sight of roadside wall opposite the Plough Inn which appeared to have been munched by a brick eating monster. The truth was rather more mundane. The wall had been crashed into by a vehicle after it failed to negotiate one of the easiest bends in the city.

For years one of the hottest topics in Deansway was the lack of a pedestrian crossing by the cathedral roundabout. Following the pedestrianisation of High Street, the area became a bit of a raceway and you almost needed the speed of Linford Christie to get across, which patiently 99.99 per cent of the population did not possess.

It took until 1988 to install a pelican crossing, by which time 40,000 vehicles and 5,000 pedestrians were using the spot every day.