Serviced apartments used the back door?

Over what seems to have been several months, the entrance to the serviced apartments above Vickery’s has been completely remodelled, For a lot of the time, the doorway must have been completely unusable, so we wondered whether the apartments were empty. We suspected this even when we took our photo, for, as you can see, there were no names on the new individual post lockers. However, a number of names appeared quite quickly afterwards, so we now guess that the apartments were in action throughout the bulding work.

It’s been bent, straightened and bent again.

We really think this sign just inside the entrance of Main Square car park should be consigned to the recycling bin. The ramp layout is now years old, there obviously IS parking – just behind the sign in fact – and who on earth would stop on the ramp unless there was a vehicle manoeuvring in front of them?

What’s more, the sign forces any pedestrians to leave the pedestrian walkway. AND it’s been quite badly damaged at least twice to our knowledge.

Why is it still there?

UPDATE.
We wrote the above text some days ago. But we can now answer our own question – the sign ISN’T there any longer. It’s been condemned to a grubby corner! Why did it take so long?

Kings Court – activity at last

Terry has sent us a photo of the pile boring machine that’s just appeared inside the hoarding next to Kings Court.

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You may think the pile boring is rather close to the hoarding.  We think likewise.  For years we’ve had concerns that the new building will narrow the pavement and obstruct pedestrians’ view of traffic approaching from Portesbery Road.  The county council seemed to have similar concerns, for the planning applicant has written: ‘We have been able to create a 2.5m footpath in front of our building with a 2m cycle lane and a tapering road of ca. 8m at its widest point’.  (Who cares about the widest point? It’s the narrowest point that matters!)

We’ve since had sight of the relevant drawing, part of which is shown below.  We find the details rather difficult to follow, but it does seem to indicate that the current roadway will be widened by a couple of metres.  (The pavement would narrow as a result to virtually nothing, were it not for the fact that the entrance corner to the building will be ‘chopped off’.)  Let’s watch out to make sure that it happens – it would be an expensive mistake to rectify.

Perhaps the council is enforcing its policy? – repeat and update

This is a long – and happy – post. The first two photos and their associated text date back to the end of 2016.  But the final photo in the ADDENDUM is just a few days old. 

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The borough council has said for many years that it wants to preserve the Edwardian and Victorian character of the High Street.  So, council staff must have been as dismayed as we were when the rather attractive curved shop windows near the bottom of the street were removed when Bar-B-Q-Pit took over the premises.  The windows were replaced by some very ordinary aluminium framed units.  (Our two photos show the windows just before they were changed and as they look now.)

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We wondered when the work was under way whether the change required planning permission – we never saw any application.  However, the good news is that an application is now in progress to remove the aluminium frames and replace them with wooden ones.  Sadly, curved glass isn’t part of the new scheme (which claims to be similar to the original windows), but perhaps we should be grateful for the modest improvement.

ADDENDUM

The charming curved windows have been re-instated. Did the council take action? If so, well done to it!

More parking spaces in the High Street

The borough council proposes to reduce the number of spaces in the High Street taxi rank by three and to allocate those spaces to ‘ordinary’ parking. (That would nicely offset the three vehicles that were parked on the pavement yesterday when we walked that way.)

The proposal is buried in the council website where few people will see it. It’s also on notices wrapped around the two sign posts just about visible in our photo. But how many people will have read the information? Given the amount of public concern about parking in the High Street, why has the council done only the bare minimum to publicise that it’s taking action? This is yet another instance when the council has failed to communicate sufficiently.

High Street Public Art – more information

Alan wrote to us yesterday, saying: “I had the opportunity today to stop and talk to one of the artists responsible for the small circular plaques being installed in the High Street and nearby walkways.  This extract from their website may be of interest: https://mussonretallick.com/project/streets-of-gold

The artist concerned handed out a leaflet outlining the artwork background:

Alan added: “I’m not SHBC’s biggest fan but I must say I think this initiative is to be commended, it made me stop and talk and I’m sure it will encourage others to, and a sociable, interactive, friendly communication opportunity is probably just what we need right now.”

No-one could disagree with that.

(We may have got it wrong, but we understand that the ‘trench’ and unfinished wall in Knoll Walk will become part of the public art. We wait with considerable interest…)

Public art in the High Street and beyond

Our first two photos were e-mailed to us by Terry yesterday. To be honest, we were a bit puzzled by them – Terry wrote that they were taken in the High Street – and that their purpose wasn’t clear. (Zoom in and you’ll see that they have a few words impressed in them…)

Well, we weren’t far away, so we went and had a look for ourselves. The next photo – one of ours – shows a ‘disk’ in context. There are plenty of others that we could have shown – but their purpose still remained a bit of obscure. Maybe they’re ‘pavement art’.

Our final photo – taken in Princess Way – is for nerds like the Eye. It shows the diamond drill that creates the recesses into which the disks are fixed. Its purpose is obvious!