"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Thursday, August 04, 2016

This deserted town

Several years ago, when Elder Daughter was a student in Sheffield, I remember being in the town centre and commenting on how desolate it seemed. 
"Oh, this is the result of Meadowhall,the new shopping mall," said my daughter.

When I first came to Wrexham, it was a busy, lively market town.
Then, someone decided, in their wisdom, that what it needed was a shopping mall, out of the town centre, where the 'beast market' had been in bygone times, and lo and behold, Eagles Meadow (Dol y Eryrod if you're speaking Welsh) was built to the south east of the town centre.

There were three problems:
1. People expected a covered shopping centre and have been disappointed ever since that it isn't. 
2. No-one bothered to put up any signs in the town centre to tell people visiting the area where it is and that you can, in fact, access it via a footbridge.
3. (This is the worst problem) Many shops decided to up-sticks and move there, leaving empty premises in the town centre. This, combined with the closure of several more, thanks to the recession, has left the town itself looking more like a ghost town. If you don't believe me, take a look at the photos.

The street where these photos were taken is Henblas Street. Yesterday, BHS closed its doors for the final time and soon, the post office will relocate to the first floor of WH Smith. Yes, I kid you not, a town the size of Wrexham will no longer have a post office in its own building.
Yesterday, the local press ran an article about complaints from local businesses about the high business rates in Wrexham, which must also be adding to the problem, but my overall impression is that, if they had set out to deliberately run the place into the ground, the council, town planners etc could hardly have done a better job.
Not everything can be blamed on the recession.


Dale said...

How sad. American retail giant (and bully) Walmart is the culprit here. Walmart builds a store in a remote retail mall, and before long, locally owned small businesses are forced to close their doors. Small, family owned businesses simply cannot compete with Walmart's prices. I refuse to patronise Walmart. I despise everything they represent. And yes, I gladly pay a little more for goods and services obtained closer to home. I prefer to support the little guys.

Jenny Aspin said...

That happens here too, Dale.

Jenny Aspin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yorkshire Pudding said...

A tragic story. As you say - it's down to the planners and those who approved the plans. And when a rot sets in, it is exceedingly difficult to turn the clock back. (Sorry for mixing my metaphors).

Jenny Aspin said...

Sadly, it is, YP.


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