Thursday, 26 January 2017

Half a century of looking up the High Street

This is one of those scenes of the High Street which at first glance seems to have changed very little from the first time I wandered up from Well Hall Road in the spring of 1964.

Of course like loads of other people I can reel off a few of the smaller changes ranging from the disappearance of Burton's, Harry Fenton’s, and Payne’s along with the ABC and the Wimpy bar.

All of them very personal to me while for other people we could throw in Hind’s, the Co-op, the Castle and David Grieg’s.

Not that there is anything odd in that, all places change over time and for me at least the passage of fifty-one years is a big chunk of my life.

But go back a century and a bit and the differences between then and now would be more dramatic.

The High Street would have been narrower and there would have been a succession of grand houses  sitting behind their high walls, along with a fair few smaller and meaner cottages tucked away off the main road.

Now all of these I have written about in the past so instead I shall just reflect on the changes to come which will start with that proposed cinema and may also see the reappearance of a few more pubs again.

After all the demise of the Castle and the Man of Kent left a hole and the bar culture and micro pub are fast taking over many High Streets.

Picture; Looking up the High Street, 2015, from the collection of Elizabeth and Colin Fitzpatrick

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