"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.