Edwardian Wrexham was a bustling hive of activity and Hope Street was at its heart. Historian PHIL PHILLIPS was given access to a treasure trove of vintage postcards, an insight into life in Wrexham soon after the turn of the last century. All the images of Hope Street are part of the Roy Platt collection, dated between 1904 and 1919, with each one capturing the essence of an era long gone by. Wrexham town centre has changed a great deal since then, but it's remarkable how much of the architecture has survived to this day.

Like many of Wrexham's older streets, Hope Street - Stryt yr Hob - is named after a destination as in Chester Street, Ruabon Road and Salop Road.

Stryd yr hoppe was mentioned as far back as 1553 and for many years the street has been one of Wrexham's main shopping streets which has been home to many of our best known family businesses as well as the major retail stores.

Many will remember the tea merchant William Phillips who had stores in Hope Street and the High Street and whose store can be seen in a number of the post cards.

Walter Roberts, hardware merchant and founder of the Walter Roberts pantomime company, plied his trade in Hope Street, as did Rogers and Jacksons in the Cambrian Stores.

Many readers will also remember Stevens' café and the Rainbow Stores as being prominent businesses on this street.

The Lion Hotel, which is clearly visible on one of the postcards,was demolished to house Wrexham's first F.W.Woolworth.

They moved to their new premises in Regent Street, opened by Hughie Green. This building was virtually destroyed by fire in 2001 and has since been rebuilt and now houses W.H.Smith.

All the postcards are very evocative of a time long gone. Like many other towns, Wrexham has seen a decline in High Street sales and Hope Street is no exception.

One of the postcards dated 1917 and sent to Llangedwyn, Powys says: "We came here last Monday and are having a nice time. We had no idea it was such a busy place. Wish you were here with us."

The opening of Eagles Meadow in 2008 meant that the iconic Burton's Building on the corner of Hope Street was vacated, now home to a cafe.

Marks and Spencer also moved to the new centre. On the other hand, who could have envisaged that we would have lost two of the longstanding retail giants, Woolworth and Littlewoods?