August 2011 Slideshow

August 31, 2011

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16 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Native  |  September 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Great to see a few extra shots that we dont get to see on the blog. Two questions though, where did you take the shot of the run down buildings with smashed window and air conditioning unit? Is it the Old Gaol? I couldnt quite place it. Also where was Harry when he was on the bench in a meadow?

  • 2. newcomer  |  September 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    This monthly round-up is a good feature. I remain in awe as to how backstreeter has the time put this Blog together.

    A thought … it might be an idea to do a “2011, That Was The Year That Was’, blog along similar lines … ‘this is one I made earlier’ … to go out early January instead of a December monthly.

    Good music, again.

  • 3. Iain  |  September 2, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Can’t remember who raised point in earlier discussion around charter development of wanting a weekend opportunity to review plans.

    A new date has now been added where the exhibition will be manned so that residents have someone to talk to as well as being able to view the exhibition.

    Details are on the vale website, but salient information is 10-3 Saturday 10th September.

  • 4. newcomer  |  September 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    How apt that the extra charter development exhibition day should coincide with one of the heritage open days. This might stimulate people to wonder whether what might be built will last and be admired in years to come.

    I went to one of the earlier, weekday, exhibition days and felt that the plans lacked any thought about what town centres might be used for in future years. Internet shopping will continue to take more sales from the High Street, out-of-town retail sheds will continue to sell the kind of items which would have generated high traffic in town centres.

    Abingdon is not the only town suffering from ‘Tesco-Blight’ and I wonder whether there’s been any pooling of experience/ideas with towns in a similar situation. Tesco learns with each planning application, surely Abingdon should be learning from other towns which share its circumstances.

    I fear we will end up with a development ideally designed for the retail environment of 2005 … and I’m being kind.

  • 5. Iain  |  September 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    When was reading up onthis I came across two interesting studies. One by university of doughs prion (prof Neil wriggley) who studied impact on town centre vibrancy of town centre supermarkets. The other was by stirling university (can’t remember name of author) looking at variety of shops inform centres.

    My impression was that many of the points they raised had been addressed in the proposal (although inevitably not every point – these things always contain some choices/compromises) which gave me some comfort that the vale have received some sensible advice.

  • 6. newcomer  |  September 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Iain, thank you for your vague memories of studies (was one from The University of Doughnuts by Professor Wriggley Spearmint?). We’re all sooo reassured, but our confidence would be increased stratospherically were you to give checkable references.

    I’m sure your impressions are invaluable (I hear you do a very good Tommy Cooper), but the Awkward Squad like a bit of real evidence. Until then I’m pleased that you are in the ‘Comfort Zone’ when it comes to the advice The Vale are paying good money for to ‘Guys In Expensive Suits’.

    (paragraph break) I just fell off my chair laughing.

    Is this Abingdon, or did Dorothy just dance along the Yellow Brick Road from Culham, in her ruby slippers, over Abingdon Bridge, to announce her engagement to Iain?

    I’m laughing so much I might do myself an injury … but who said it wasn’t fun in Abingdon?

    Send the Red Cross round to my place now!

  • 7. Iain  |  September 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Newcomer – feel free to drop cloak of anonymity any time – and thank you for making my reply and view feel so valued.

    Link to soton study by professor Neil Wriglwy

    Stirling review appears in several places – good summary:

    Click click there go my ruby slippers Dorothy!

  • 8. Iain  |  September 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Just spotted my doughs prion remark which might explain newcomers hilarity – phone auto corrects things I’m afraid.

    It should have said Southampton

  • 9. newcomer  |  September 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    ‘feel free to drop cloak of anonymity any time’

    I’m SuperLitterMan who flies round Abingon in the wee hours trying to make it look as though the new rubbish collection plan isn’t totally rubbish.

    You’ll recognise me in the High Street … pea-green tights and a pink basque … when I took the job on I was looking for something a little more discreet like an orange jumpsuit, but I was told the kit came with the job.

    As a Super Hero, it’s a bugger jumping off high buildings and I’m sorry about the damage I did to the scaffolding on the County Hall the other evening.

  • 10. Iain  |  September 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Ah I thought that was you

  • 11. doozer  |  September 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    whilst all this Dorothy stuff is all very funny…I fear the future of our town isn’t such a laughing matter (golly…I sound so much older than my tender years)!

    Firstly, as a born pessimist (the glass is half empty and your situation can surely only ever deteriorate from this point)… the council orgionally said that there were to be THREE manned exhibitions … ( then bottom right of page 4 ( so my cynocal streak asks why this never came to fruition origionally? Who or why did someone think “Let’s not bother with a weekend afterall?” only for apparent public pressure have to highlight the obvious!? This is the biggest development to affect the town in a long time, surely…so why the lack lustre approach to public opinion? (and why the wonky, poor display on show at all)!

    OK – a Saturday exbo is all well and good, and I am grateful for it but I am not at all ‘happy’ with those decision makers in the first place. I expect better…and I think it is reasonable to think so.

    Unfortunately a large sum of money has been paid to consultants and the council will no doubt now feel duty bound to ‘make the most of that spend’ and do what the consultants suggest. (We know this has happened before – to our detriment)! Unfortunately…consultants feel our future hinges around a supermarket. And so the shame, lack of foresight or lack of anything interesting or exciting or even ‘different’ now rests with them. A pitty that is indeed.

    I am no architect or town planner or visionary…but I see out and about much better efforts than…a supermarket.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but the development in Abingdon feels like a done deal. We can have exhibitions, and discussion and get frustrated…but it’ll be fruitless. We’re gonna get a supermarket and I’m sure Abingdon will exist into the next decade…I just had higher hopes.

    Still, as I’m just an innocent bystander…what do I know! I’m not often right and probbaly wrong again.

  • 12. Local lass  |  September 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Newcomer – so what would you do with the town? You seem full of criticism for what might or might not be done. Some positive input and suggestions would be welcome, instead of slating those who are trying to make a difference. I have a shop in town and so what happens in the town is of great importance to me, so please enlighten us all on how you think the new Abingdon should look.

  • 13. newcomer  |  September 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Local Lass – backstreeter has mentioned to me that the plans for Bury Street have changed since the last public viewing, mainly in terms of the size of units and the prospect of an anchor store (sorry if this is not totally accurate, backstreeter)

    The plans have changed in the short time since the last public viewing.

    Internet buying, the retail park and Tesco along the Marcham Road, are not going to become less of an influence over the next five years. What will people NEED to entice them to come into the town centre to buy/hang out. There’s, undoubtedly, going to be less money in peoples’ pockets.

    I’d like to know WHY the planners think their plans will work in an environment which is changing so quickly in terms of the economy and retail buying ‘environment’.

    I would hope that the planners have greater ambitions than the final ‘master plan’ might retain a functionality beyond, say, five years.

    What would I do with the town? Well it’s doing not-too-bad with three shops selling people overpriced coffee and imagining that they’re sur le Continent.

    What I’d do is to make it compulsory for the planners to tell us what a town centre is going to be for in the future … why people are going to find it useful.

    I don’t want the planners, architects and builders to construct something which is good for their balance sheets and leave us with something useless, I’d like them to be totally open in telling us as to why what they want to do will work for the town. Functionality.

    Here’s a suggestion (made before, on this Blog, in less detail).

    We cobble Bridge Street and, every noon, we get a lad (in period costume) to cycle down the hill with a loaf of Hovis in his delivery basket … heritage marketing!

    I’d like to know WHY the planners think their plans will work in an environment which is changing so quickly in terms of the economy and retail buying behaviour.

    I’m not being awkward for the sake of it. In my teenage years I grew up in a corner shop, (Coronation Street Style) in the North East, where my mum worked all hours until Morrisons built a store several streets away and that was the end … I’ve seen the Abingdon situation ‘writ small’.

    Local Lass … I’ve some insight into your situation and I think you are courageous to run a retail outlet in Abingdon. It’s a hard life and could get a lot harder.

    I look at the plans for Bury Street and it seems like a project for architects and builders … a bit like the Millennium Dome … all structure and no content. Jobs for the boys who are happy to be building, but no idea as to why they’re building.

    If your’s is the choccy shop in Stert Street do you give away free samples?

    And, backstreeter, it’s impossible to get into your stride typing in this liffle ‘window’ …. bigger, more expansive, Ponderosa typing space, please.

  • 14. doozer  |  September 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    …oh…after my last long comment (or some may say rant) was ‘being moderated’…it seems to have never made it to the blog. Anyone know why? I wasn’t rude or slanderous. Promise.

  • 15. Backstreeter  |  September 5, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Hi Doozer. I’m not sure why some things get put for moderation. They are few and far between. It should have got there now. Could be number of links or length. It is generic wordpress functionality and I will try and find out when I have time. But nobody is really in control here.

    The buildings are the back of the post office. I watch that with interest but have not featured yet.

  • 16. doozer  |  September 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Backstreeter – thanks for the explanation. For a second there I thought it may have been because I was full of guff and hot air…thankfully THAT wasn’t the reason…

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