14 February 2012

The Green Man in Wells

The Shops in the High Street

The southern end of Weston-super-Mare High Street is going to be improved and when it's finished, it should look something like this, or this. No, I don't see much difference either, but perhaps it makes more sense if you look at the plans for the scheme.

This part of the High Street is so nondescript that it isn't even mentioned by Pevsner, who gives the impression that there's nothing beyond Regent Street1. Actually, there's some justification for that, because the area is a bit of a wasteland of crumbling buildings and empty shops, dominated by the former T J Hughes which, not so long ago, was a Co-op department store and supermarket.

The rest of the High Street doesn't seem to be quite so bad, with only four empty shops, although another one is closing this week, and at least one more is facing something of an uncertain future, while the adjacent Sovereign Centre has three empty shops and three more that are soon to close.

High Streets, as we all know, are in decline everywhere, and Weston also has to face the additional problems that seem to be common to seaside resorts throughout the country. Urban decay is always a good subject for a photographer and shouldn't be allowed to go unrecorded, but I don't really want to live with it. Anybody got any ideas about what we can do to change things?


1 Andrew Foyle & Nikolaus Pevsner, Somerset: North and Bristol (London: Yale University Press, 2011), p 713