**Article originally published in the September 2017 edition of Outlook newsletter.

Many will recall the heyday of downtown Belleville in the 1950s when the stores were filled with customers, the sidewalks crowded and the streets bumper-to-bumper with traffic. To capture this period of our history, the Society joined forces with filmmaker Gerry Fraiberg in the Oral History Project. With financial support from Belleville’s Community Arts and Culture Fund, Gerry arranged interviews with five businessmen of the period to recall and record their memories of those dynamic and exciting times. 

What was life like when the downtown was the centre of economic and social activity for our city? These recordings tell the tales on a first-hand basis by the leaders of the downtown business community.

They include Bob Barber of Barber's Flowers, Terry Barratt of Barratt’s Stationery, Gerry Bongard of Stephen Licence, Don Leslie of Leslie Shoe Store and John O’Connor, son of Gerry O’Connor of O’Connor’s Jewel Box

CLICK HERE to listen to the five audio recordings and let your memory wander back to those long-gone days downtown.

Downtown Belleville circa 1950 HC08169