Miracles DO happen!

It’s only four years since we first commented on the sign on the side of Barclays Bank that pointed to the ‘ivic Hall’.  From memory, the theatre hasn’t actually been called the ‘Civic Hall’ for around twenty seven years.  It’s had two ‘renamings’ since then;  first as the ‘Arts Link’ and then as ‘Camberley Theatre’.P1050338We’ve pointed out the tatty and out-of-date sign a number of times since 2013.  And, at last, mirabile dictu, it’s been replaced.  Here’s the new version:

The somewhat surprising thing is that there’s no mention of the ‘police station’.  Presumably anyone who has their bag snatched in the High Street is supposed either to know that the police are now based in the council offices, or to just go away and not make a fuss.

More thought-provoking is the fact that there’s no mention of the museum.  The future of the museum is the subject of a current consultation by the council, but the implication is either that – like the police – the museum will continue to be located in the council offices, OR that the museum won’t exist in anything like its current form before too long.  We’ll bet that it’s the latter, consultation or not.

 

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Plans for Camberley’s High Street

It was perhaps six weeks ago that we mentioned the council’s plans for the High Street, and we said that a consultation was underway.  If we remember correctly, the council’s website, rather surprisingly, gave no deadline for responses.  This may have simply been an oversight, or – and we hope not – it was because there was really no interest in the public’s views.

Anyway, the good news is that the council’s website now states a deadline.  It’s 30th September.  So, if you haven’t already responded, click on https://goo.gl/rUrMHB, look at the proposals and send an e-mail.  Just follow the instructions given on that webpage.

All a-board in Pembroke Broadway

What was once the main entrance to Nokia’s offices in Ashwood House in Pembroke Broadway has just been boarded-up.  One more step towards converting the building – now owned by the borough council – into flats.

We took this photo while the boarding-up was underway.  The boards are on the inside, so they’re protecting the windows from internal damage, not from ‘vandalism’.

A sail in the High Street?

We spotted this ‘tarpaulin’ covering furniture on the top of what we think is SoAsia in the High Street the other day.  The restaurant’s refurbishment seems to be taking longer than the restaurant anticipated, and we think the tables and chairs have been temporarily stored on the roof.  But it all looks a bit precarious and vulnerable to a gust of wind…

UPDATE – we took these photos just before the recent gale.  We were obviously feeling a bit pessimistic at the time, because the furniture and tarpaulin survived the gale perfectly well!

 

Farewell Kitchen Kapers

You may remember that, back in April, we reproduced this quote from ‘Rightmove’: “shop for sale with vacant possession”.  The shop concerned was Kitchen Kapers in Camberley’s High Street, and we speculated that – as was the case with other branches of Kitchen Kapers – the shop would be closing.

At the time, we were criticised, somewhat aggressively, for speculating.  Be that as it may, Kitchen Kapers seems to have displayed ‘SALE’  ever since, and the shop  is now closing.

That means that all the properties in our second photo could well be vacant.  What’s more, there are a further five unoccupied retail properties on the same side of the road beyond our photo and up to the A30.  Dramatic measures are needed to revitalise the street.  Major retailers are unlikely to come here, so – if only by default – independents (or flats, of course) are the future.  Yet the vacant properties were mainly occupied by independents…..  Will the council’s intention to reduce the number of parking spaces and tweak the roadway be sufficient to bring them back?  We doubt it.

An uplifting story….

The borough council has announced that it has started to refurbish the non-functioning lift in the Knoll Road multi-storey car park.  That’s good news.  But as you can see from this photo, the whole lift area is pretty scruffy.  It’s all very well having a smart Square shopping centre, but the same standard has to apply to the whole ‘visitor experience’.  A coat of paint on the concrete around the lift doors wouldn’t go amiss, for a start. (We recall that a few years ago the council was toying with the idea of demolishing the building entirely.  It seems that’s history now.)

 

Some signs are more helpful than others

We don’t know whether it’s the result of a gust of wind or of ‘mischief’.  But this road sign on the approach to the Atrium has been twisted round and is of somewhat limited use!

(Road signs are usually supplied and maintained by the county council, of course.  But this one is electronic, linked to the Atrium car park so that it can show the number of empty parking spaces.  So maybe it’s an Atrium responsibility?)

We’ve had a brilliant idea!  Why not tell motorists how many empty spaces there are on the approach to each of Camberley’s car parks?  It is possible to find out the information on the council’s website, but driving and looking at the internet at the same time is – SHBC, do please note – difficult, as well as being illegal.