Author Topic: Ever Declining Town Centre  (Read 40966 times)

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Offline I Could Do That

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2015, 07:36:27 PM »
Quote
I humbly request that the first busker 'allowed' to perform in the town centre be invited to sing "Where have all the flower/doughnut/burger sellers gone?"*


* Music & Lyrics t.b.a by the TS forum.

I'll start the ball rolling.
I can play the harmonica and I also have a djembe that someone could bang.

Suggested lyrics (open to tweaking )



Where have all the flowers gone, none to parade
Where have all the flowers gone, the centre fades
Where have all the flowers gone?
Good folks chose them for someone
Oh, when will the schemers learn?
Oh, when will the schemers learn?

Where have all the good shops gone, long time passing?
Where have all the good shops gone, long time ago?
Where have all the good shops gone?
Gone like the doughnut stall.
Oh, when will the schemers learn?
Oh, when will the schemers learn?

Where have all the shoppers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the shoppers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the shoppers gone?
Gone to Reading or Bristol
Oh, when will the schemers learn?
Oh, when will the schemers learn?

Where is all the heritage , long time rotting?
Where is all the heritage, crumbled away?
Where is all the heritage?
Gone to graveyards, most of it.
Oh, when will the schemers learn?
Oh, when will the schemers learn?

Where has pride and culture gone, long time passing?
Where has pride and culture gone, long time ago?
Where has pride and culture gone?
Gone like flowers, and doughnuts.
Oh, when will the schemers learn?
Oh, when will the schemers learn?

Where have all the flowers gone, none to parade
Where have all the flowers gone, the centre fades
Where have all the flowers gone?
Good folks chose them for someone
Oh, when will the schemers learn?
Oh, when will the schemers learn?
Proud to be gone

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2015, 08:06:23 AM »
I been shopping in Oxford a few times and have never been that impressed by the usual mix of chain stores. If I make the trip now it usually for a bit of sight seeing. The Oxford Castle is worth a visit. I keep meaning to do one of the guided ghost tours but have never gotten around to it.

Salisbury has a nice mix of chain stores, quirky shops and nice architecture.

Cirencester is also good for a lazy Sunday afternoon browse around the non-chain stores followed by an over priced coffee and slice of cake.

Oxford Castle, isn't the 70's shopping centre (that gives Swindon a good run for it's money in terms of uglyness) near by?  Westgate Centre I think it's called.

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2015, 09:52:28 AM »
Last time I went to Oxford was a theatre trip years ago.
Does Oxford have a surviving smattering of buoyant of charity shops?
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2015, 11:45:29 AM »
Last time I went to Oxford was a theatre trip years ago.
Does Oxford have a surviving smattering of buoyant of charity shops?

Oxfam is based in Oxford ain't it?  I bet they're still there:)

I been shopping in Oxford a few times and have never been that impressed by the usual mix of chain stores. If I make the trip now it usually for a bit of sight seeing. The Oxford Castle is worth a visit. I keep meaning to do one of the guided ghost tours but have never gotten around to it.

Salisbury has a nice mix of chain stores, quirky shops and nice architecture.

Cirencester is also good for a lazy Sunday afternoon browse around the non-chain stores followed by an over priced coffee and slice of cake.

Oxford Castle, isn't the 70's shopping centre (that gives Swindon a good run for it's money in terms of uglyness) near by?  Westgate Centre I think it's called.


Cirencester has a well preserved Roman Amphitheatre (grass, not stone).  Well worth a visit if you're in the area.  We rode up there for a picnic last summer.

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2015, 01:21:43 PM »
Quote
Oxfam is based in Oxford ain't it? I bet they're still there :)

D'oh !  :crazy2:

Should have thought about that, seeing as Oxfam moving out of Swindon is what started this thread  ::)
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Offline Midlander

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 02:22:07 PM »
Well I've just been into town, and it appears we are to lose yet another store in the town centre

Rymans is going in March, nearest store Cheltenham. I've done all of my stationery shopping in there for the last several years, purchased printers and shredders from them, a number of other items recently, and most times having to queue up to get served.

Once again it raises the question, how does a retailer survive in Cheltenham, and yet in Swindon where you have to queue up to get served, they don't? Someone, somewhere must be getting very rich from this town.

Since we lost Office World in Mannington some years back, that only leaves Staples in Greenbridge. Not so easy to get to if you don't own a car.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2015, 05:46:21 PM »
Well, the challenges for the town centre might be about to get worse; I hear tenders are out for preliminary works to flatten more of the council owned car parks - Wyvern car park amongst them.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2015, 07:52:26 PM »
Well I've just been into town, and it appears we are to lose yet another store in the town centre

Rymans is going in March, nearest store Cheltenham. I've done all of my stationery shopping in there for the last several years, purchased printers and shredders from them, a number of other items recently, and most times having to queue up to get served.

Once again it raises the question, how does a retailer survive in Cheltenham, and yet in Swindon where you have to queue up to get served, they don't? Someone, somewhere must be getting very rich from this town.

Since we lost Office World in Mannington some years back, that only leaves Staples in Greenbridge. Not so easy to get to if you don't own a car.

I think the big supermarkets must have an effect on the viability of specialist stores. The range of stationery in Tesco is limited, but probably meets the needs of most people.

Shops like Staples offer a 'one stop' shop for small businesses buying stationery and office supplies, but Tesco offers a 'one stop' shop for the general public buying groceries and the odd ream of paper.

If you plan ahead, I am sure that items like printer cartridges are cheaper via mail order. If you don't plan ahead (like me), being able to buy a printer cartridge from Tesco at 11pm is handy. I know people who have completed CV's late at night and then realised that they have no ink. I have also had to rush to Tesco to buy an ink cartridge late at night in order to print off airline tickets etc.

Most of the time we are happy with the convenience of the supermarket and only need the specialist stores occasionally. Problem is, the specialist stores will soon be gone if we don't support them.

In the 80/90's, the out of town centres were seen as a cure for town centre congestion. It that sense they have worked because the town centre is now dead. If you have a car the out of town stores are more convenient and more pleasant than the town centre. If you don't have a car, it must be a struggle.

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2015, 08:24:56 PM »
Well, the challenges for the town centre might be about to get worse; I hear tenders are out for preliminary works to flatten more of the council owned car parks - Wyvern car park amongst them.

I had heard that the Wyvern car park and the two footbridges linking the theatre and council offices are going soon.

IMHO the Wyvern car park won't be a great loss. A bad example of 1970's design and even worse construction practice. A floor plan which is over 50% ramps and traffic aisles due to the long narrow shape of the building. Turning circles which are too tight and parking bays which aren't big enough for modern cars. Stair towers that smell of urine. Poor quality concrete.

One redeeming feature is the fact that this eyesore obscures and even worse eyesore behind.

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2015, 08:59:29 PM »
Well I've just been into town, and it appears we are to lose yet another store in the town centre

Rymans is going in March, nearest store Cheltenham. I've done all of my stationery shopping in there for the last several years, purchased printers and shredders from them, a number of other items recently, and most times having to queue up to get served.

Once again it raises the question, how does a retailer survive in Cheltenham, and yet in Swindon where you have to queue up to get served, they don't? Someone, somewhere must be getting very rich from this town.

Since we lost Office World in Mannington some years back, that only leaves Staples in Greenbridge. Not so easy to get to if you don't own a car.

One or more of the following too high in the town centre - business rates, rents,  service charges?

Mind you I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised that the Polish deli on Havelock Sq./Brunel Centre has survived (must be getting on for two years now) as I doubted they'd get enough trade to pay the bills.  It kind of confirms my thoughts ages ago that more decent (i.e. not 0 rated ones like A1 on Commercial Road) ethnic deli's in the town centre might help get people into the town centre (and perhaps even become a niche for the town) upon which we could build. 

Offline Tobes

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2015, 10:49:11 PM »
I'd love that too!

Unfortunately, all of the 'master plans' by our highly paid vibrant visionaries revolve around larger retail shops, purpose built for franchise and chain stores, NOT local entrepreneurs offering unusual or niche products and services...

 :(

Its quite strange sitting back and watching these consultants and supposed experts slowly sawing the head off of a goose which once laid golden eggs, in the firm belief that sticking a plastic head back on it is in someway going to bring it back to life..
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Midlander

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2015, 12:36:08 PM »

In the 80/90's, the out of town centres were seen as a cure for town centre congestion. It that sense they have worked because the town centre is now dead. If you have a car the out of town stores are more convenient and more pleasant than the town centre. If you don't have a car, it must be a struggle.

It wasn't a struggle when we got rid of the car. A few years ago you could travel anywhere in Swindon by bus provided you boarded at a major bus stop, unfortunately now the only place you can travel to from the Link Centre is to the Town Centre, stopping at the Outlet Village on the way.

It's interesting that both the Government, regardless of who's in power want people to give up their cars, and when you do so, they take away the public transport system!

Offline Muggins

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2015, 03:55:35 PM »
Well town sure wasn't dead yesterday when I went in, neither was it full of Chavs.  In fact people seemed quite cheerful, that it was just after lunch time might have had something to do with it.  I checked along towards Fleming Way and a couple of shops have gone from there, but one is being re-vamped for something or the other. 

On the whole, it didn't seem to be too bad, even the paving is growing on me compared to the small cobble like stones at the bottom of Regent Street.  It's just the grey that is gloomy.  I had a little fun and followed the wobbly lines and lights.

Next time I might brave the 'shared space' but it would be pointless me going there, as everything seems to be up steps.

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2015, 08:40:25 AM »
Another lack of "buoyant vision for a sustainable future"?

www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11822065.Rail_work_sparks_interest/

Quote
“We have completed a number of essential bridge reconstructions in the county and next week will start the process of removing the redundant metal footbridge that links Swindon station with Polaris House to make room for the installation of electrification equipment.


The first comment suggests re-routing the cycle path to make it safer and usable.
As usual the weirdo with fiddly thumbs votes it down

On a plus note, I expect the new H&M store is a vast improvement
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Offline Muggins

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2015, 08:54:14 AM »
To be honest my stationery needs are covered thus - plastic envelopes that button down - different colours for the groups - Pound shop - why pay more for a pack of 4 - or from Asda - even bought them from Aldi.   Equipment - all recent purchases of Laptops, printers, scanners, tablets, and even an expensive over head projector were bought on-line and apart from one of the tablets, delivered to my door.  The tablet was a order and pay online and pick up from store and I chose that option because I wanted it the next day/same day - although a lot of the things ordered come the next day anyway. Paper I buy either when I see it cheap or Asda or Tesco's.  Hardly bought an envelope in all the years I've been re-using those that come through the door.

All this is handy for me not having personal transport - I may be able to get a ream of paper home but the Titanic hasn't the capability of anything much larger.

And I don't buy if I can get it given, still using coloured paper etc. that I was given over twenty years ago. Of course I'm not in business!



Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2015, 11:52:45 AM »
Muggs, did you notice that the old post office site in merton street is full of large motor homes, I think there was about 10 at least, is this the new regeneration of the centre..

Offline Muggins

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2015, 04:44:57 PM »
No, didn't see it, didn't go that far. 

What do you reckon they might be there fore then Terry? 

Could be there is some development going on and they are workers vans?
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline helen thompson

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2015, 06:08:30 PM »
Muggins/terry the old post office site has had some activity last week with three or four men digging a hole and then taking some measuring, i did think that it may have something do with the walking centre moving to outside my front door at Kimmerfield court as we have new white boarding built around us ,there has been some circus people from the Netherlands as well 

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2015, 07:03:16 PM »
all the motor homes that were there, were of the type you see when a fair comes to town, but there was no fair there..

must be using it as a park over.....

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Ever Declining Town Centre
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2015, 07:35:23 PM »
all the motor homes that were there, were of the type you see when a fair comes to town, but there was no fair there..

must be using it as a park over.....

There was a fair going up at the Link Centre today.