Bensons for Beds – what is happening?

As one of our photos shows, a stretch of hoarding has appeared on the side of the former Bensons for Beds shop in the High Street.  It’s been there a week or more.  It doesn’t look very secure!

The building itself doesn’t look particularly happy either.  The rear ‘extension’ has been demolished.  We’re not aware of any recent approved planning application, although there is one outstanding from – at a guess – six or seven years ago.


The Obelisk. Out of bounds except for mischief-makers.

If you look at the council’s website way back to 29th July, you can read “Following vandalism and anti-social behaviour reported at the Obelisk, the facility will now be locked daily from 4pm”

Roll forward just a little, and you’ll find people reporting that the obelisk site is closed all day.  So we went and had a look.  They’re right.  As our first photo shows, the security gate was well and truly locked at about midday yesterday.  The casual visitor can get no further.

However, the good news for those who are fit, slim, and seeking ‘recreation’ is that we reckon it’s quite possible to squeeze under the security fencing, albeit getting a little sandy in the process.  From the look of it, we don’t think we’re the first person to have found that out either. It’s difficult to show a 3D gap in a 2D photograph, but here’s the best that we could manage.

However much the council paid for the fencing, we reckon it doesn’t – and certainly won’t – serve its purpose.


The council had changed its mind by 5th August.  The website had been altered by then to read:

Due to ongoing problems with anti social behaviour and vandalism, the area around the Obelisk in Camberley Park has been locked to protect his Grade 2 Listed structure. 

“If you would like to access the Obelisk, please call the SHBC Contact Centre on 01276 707100 or email, to make an appointment.

Raising the flag at Compass House

Yesterday we spotted some activity outside Compass House – or, at least, the office block on the A30 that used to be called Compass House, and which is being converted into flats.  At first we thought the old ‘offices to let’ signs were being removed.  But we now thing that a couple of flagpoles were being erected.  The flags bear the name Seymours – the estate agents in Park Street.

Free parking – but a bit of a but

We’ve praised the council before for its decision to make parking essentially free for shoppers.  But it would have been even better if the notice said that you can ignore the pay machines and just drive up to the exit barriers of Main Square car park if you’ve stayed for less than four hours.  Otherwise, how do you know?  You could – as we did – take a gamble and risk holding up cars behind us at the barrier while we popped out to ‘not pay’.  A bit of unnecessary hassle and stress, though.