Thursday, 21 November 2013


Here's an aerial shot of my local town centre taken sometime
between 1968 and around '73.  That's the way I remember it when
I was a kidlet, up to my early teenage years until, slowly, surely,
it began to change into something completely different. 

Were a new photo to be taken today, all you'd see is a roofed-
over, soulless shopping complex built over the car parks and most
of the grassy areas on the right-hand side of the picture.  The build-
ing you can see in the middle of that area used to be a cinema, but
is now a bingo hall, the front part of which is roofed over and
incorporated into the shopping centre.

The tall building right smack-dab in the middle of the photo is
now demolished (apart from the first two floors) and, again, just
about every open street around it is now covered by the afore-men-
tioned shopping complex.  However, as the company which owns it
charge for parking, most sensible people shop in a retail park just
outside of town, or use other shopping centres in or around
Glasgow which don't levy parking charges against them.

When you think about it, it's an entrance fee by stealth.  You
go to do your shopping and you have to pay for the 'privilege' if
you're a car owner.  In my book, if you want people to shop in your
complex, then you provide the parking space which enables (and
encourages) them to visit and spend their dosh in the stores,
not charge them for doing so.

No wonder so many of the units have been vacated or lain
empty since they were built a few years back - those who can
travel to shop elsewhere, do so.  Let's hope the landlords wise
up soon, before the centre becomes a 'ghost-town'.

 Any gripes about your shopping centre?  Let's hear 'em!


baab said...

Just like the price of a mars bar,the greedy commercial world rely on the next generations acceptance of price hikes and unfair practice.

Great photo,I had a wee wander around it.

Kid said...

I often wander around it in memory, Baab. Wish it was still like that.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I think East Kilbride's main issue is that it is has expanded year on year for so long that it thought it was in a pretty unassailable position as Lanarkshire's premier shopping centre (and to be fair it has a good shopping centre) so it built up a pretty massive shopping centre that required even bigger car parks to get the people in so they could pay for the shops and the parking ...its is a loop now. I think EK ( a pretty successful town in other ways)is in serious danger of having it all collapse around them, they seem to think they need more and more shops and parking spaces to attract more customers but EKs layout means that it is surrounded by houses and "green belt" so it looks like the only option is going to be to build upwards (or so I hear) But things have changes and not just due to the internet folk still go out shopping as an experience and in our area that means popping into Glasgow - I and most folk in EKs catchment area can now jump a train to Glasgow (and back home) for less than the cost of a full days parking with none of the hassles of driving or trying to get a parking space and be in the centre of one of Europes biggest shopping centres in less than 30 mins - I fear EK will soon be full of empty shops (its getting like that now ) and empty car parks. McScotty

Kid said...

It's all mobile 'phone, pawn amd charity shops now, McScotty. To me, it had a better selection of shops 40 years ago than it does now. Bring back Holmes and Woolworths is what I say. And Nurseryland.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Sadly most places are like that now, dont know if you've been in Motherwell recently - ok never a hub for shopping - but it has to be the saddest place ever- full of pound shops (89p shops as well!!) McDonalds, Credit shops and charity shops all very depressing - some of the smaller towns are getting it right with local type shops but your right there was more variety in the past - McScotty

Kid said...

Haven't been into Motherwell in at least a year or two, McScotty, but I take your word for it. It's a sign of the times, I'm afraid.

Dougie said...

Haven't been in Motherwell for six or seven years- but I was in EK and Hamilton back in January. The latter seemed more recession proof than the former: EK's shopping centre was already looking ghostly. I'm afraid that retail is no longer the route to regenerate Scottish towns. It hasn't been for nearly a decade, unfortunately.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Not sure if you've seen the site Urban Glasgow but if not well worth a look for old pictures - obviously mostly Glasgow (with pictures of the city going back to the 1800's ) but also has other towns incl Ek


Kid said...

Dougie, I think part of the problem is that EK's shopping Centre is far bigger than it needs to be - and it's never going to be able to compete with other places that offer free parking.


Thanks, McScotty - I'll take a look. I hear there's an EK site on Facebook, but I don't fancy joining to be able to look at the photos.

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