Tuesday, 29 March 2016

MY KINDA TOWN...



Above is what my town's main shopping centre looked like in
the '60s.  There's a fountain and flagpoles, pillars and posts, and
the whole place had a certain kind of style and charm to it that's
sadly lacking today.  The centre has been roofed over, many of
the best shops no longer exist, and it's not the pleasant place
that it used to be.  And guess what?  They call it progress.

8 comments:

paul Mcscotty said...

I have never been to EK before the early 90s (that I can recall) but I think it's a pretty ok as it is now and it has a great shopping centre BUT I do think a mix of the old and new would be good (looking at that picture old picture) - Hamilton certainly has not got better with "modernisation" ( it has one of the most complex one way systems ever for a town of about 45,000 people). What I miss about towns and cities (throughout the UK) is the lack of independent stores / shops they all look alike now and seem to be made up of over 80% of the same (mostly bland)shops.

Kid said...

Trust me, McS, if you'd experienced it in the '60s & '70s, you'd realize that it doesn't even compare today. Back then, despite the main shopping centre's smaller size, it had a greater selection of stores. It had about 3 supermarkets, various gents tailors, furniture shops, etc. Now it's got one supermarket (in the centre I mean), and pound shops, pawn shops and 'phone shops. It just hasn't got the variety anymore, and since W. & R. Holmes closed in the late '70s, it's never had a similar shop that even came close. It also had a certain style that no longer exists. Remember, we once had the first purpose-built cinema in the U.K. since the war - with the largest screen in Scotland - now we've got a bland multiplex cinema just like everywhere else.

Dougie said...

That photograph recalls my earliest memories of EK. I last passed through earlier in the year and the town centre was grim and stricken by recession followed by austerity. The Olympia Arcade, where I got my hair cut as a kid and bought books in the early 80s, was sealed up like a tomb. Very sad.

Kid said...

Sadly, Dougie, it looks like the Arcade (or a large slice of it) is gone forever. The opening across from Sainsbury's is now the entrance to a detour around the back of a line of shops while work is carried out on them. Very sad indeed.

Gerry said...

Hate going down to the centre least it still has a bookshop

Kid said...

If only it had a proper art shop as well, I'd be happier.

WOODSY said...

Shopping centres were the bees knees back in the Sixties weren't they. In my home time Preston they were often circular like hadron colliders! Nowadays its the Leeds look in my adopted Yorkshire that gets the shoppers flocking, where whole streets are roofed over and turned into arcades. Now thats progress!

Kid said...

It's been nearly 30 years since I was last in Southsea and Portsmouth (yet it doesn't seem anywhere near as long as that to me), and both shopping centres were very reminiscent of my town's in the '60s & '70s. Because of the mild climate in S & P, there was no need to roof them over, and I find myself hoping that they haven't done so since I was last there. Ah, Woodsy, this passage of time thing is sometimes too much for me.

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