Scott pointed out to us that this light fitting had become detached from the ceiling in Main Square car park. We guess that the vibrations from work on the building had shaken it loose. Let’s hope that the light doesn’t rain on anyone’s head…
A less-likely possibility is that the borough council will meet its end of year ‘deadline’ for replacing all the fluorescent lights in the car park by LED units, and that this is the start of the work. (We’ll say nothing here of the likelihood of the council also refurbishing the stairwell by the end of the year. Miracles sometimes do happen.)
We did mention a while ago that apparently Prezzo was closing for the next month or so, over the holiday period. Which was surprising as, obviously, this is the busiest time of year. We suspected that any closure would, in fact, be permanent. As, indeed this has proved to be the case – unfortunately for the staff who worked there.
Prezzo announced earlier this year that it was having to close about a third of its restaurants for financial reasons. (You can read more about the subject here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43515133)
Do scaffolders ever check to make sure they’re working on firm foundations? This upright pole on the London Road frontage seems to be placed rather close to underground water meters/water isolating valves. Who’s to say that the inevitable voids around them won’t collapse under the weight of the scaffolding? But you can see this sort of thing quite often, so presumably it’s ok??? (Just don’t stand underneath the scaffolding for too long!)
We really can’t work out what these Christmas trees were up to in one of the service areas yesterday lunch-time. What had they got to hide under the floodlights on such a grey day??
We have praise for the council today. But also some serious criticism.
First, the good bits. The Square and parts of the town are really looking Christmassy this year. Princess Way after dark really gets into the mood with the decorations in the windows of the former BHS store.
But we came perilously close to writing an item today to advise people NOT to drive to Camberley to shop. The council’s management of Main Square car park has been utterly incompetent. The context, of course, is that this is the busiest time of the year for both shoppers and retailers. So to have half the car park and two of the three entrances out of action yesterday was ridiculous. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was the fact that when drivers wound their way up through the building, expecting to be able to park on the top floor, they found that it was completely closed. Drivers had to wind their way back down again. We imagine that quite a few were unable to park having spent quite a while going no-where.
Now there may be operational reasons why this chaos happened when it happened. But WE CHALLENGE THE COUNCIL TO SAY WHY THERE WERE NO WARNING NOTICES ABOUT THE CLOSED TOP FLOOR AT THE ENTRANCE.
The council did write on Facebook “Our thanks to all our customers for their patience as we tried to complete refurbishment works to the car park. Our apologies for any inconvenience” But that was rubbing salt into the wound. Those drivers to whom we spoke had more than exhausted their patience. And the mealy-mouthed ‘any inconvenience’ when drivers had been extremely inconvenienced just shows that the council was completely out of touch with the frustration that it was causing. Retailers ought to take the council to task for giving shoppers such a bad experience – one which was so contrary to the council’s fine words.
Santa’s grotto in The Square looks as if it’s nearly ready for action. And snow-laden trees have appeared in Cambridge Square. Indeed, the wind yesterday was so strong that there were snow drifts all over the place.
(But just in case there isn’t enough of the real stuff, there are reels of the stuff waiting to be unfurled…)
The nonsense of putting something like half of Main Square car park out of action at this time of year, plus local traffic problems, meant that the Eye ventured to Bracknell to spend some hard-won pounds yesterday. (Camberley retailers who lost out know who to blame for the car park situation.)
Anyway, though the weather was unseasonably warm, the skies were grey and the strong wind meant that drizzle was in the air and the pavement was wet underfoot in spite of the roofing over some of the Lexicon’s walkways. It wasn’t somewhere to linger.
Now ‘linger’ is an word that rings bells – we reckon that we’ve heard senior council personnel say that they want Camberley to be a place where shoppers linger. We agree with that. But, why on earth doesn’t ‘the council’ exploit the fact that The Square has a high glass roof to keep out the weather without being claustrophobic. Instead of the big hoarding on the A30 frontage indicating that it’s possible to buy trainers and coffee in the town (wow – hardly a unique feature!) the council should be emphasising that you can wander around the mall in comfort. An opportunity missed.
Don’t forget, Church Hill is supposed to be closed for two days, from 9:30am this morning. It seems this time that it’s really going to happen – the asphalt cavalry was assembled in Waverley Drive yesterday ready to go over the top.
It’s been difficult to photograph the site of the former Working Men’s Club in Obelisk Way for quite a while. It has hoardings which block the view at the front and the back, and, of course, there are buildings on either side. However, our first photo – sneaked from the back – shows the site earlier this year when it had been cleared completely. It stayed that way for months, but then the pile drilling rig moved in…. Our second photo – poor quality, because it was taken in some horrid weather – shows the drilling rig in action in what had become a very muddy site. We hadn’t thought about it before, but it seems that the pile’s steel reinforcement is lowered down the hole and concrete poured in pretty much as soon as the hole has been drilled and before it can collapse. This would make sense! Our photo includes the ready-mix truck standing by with its drum turning.
Pretty obviously it was raining when we took a hasty photo of this litter bin on the A30. We know that such bins aren’t actually fixed to the pavement but they are attached to concrete slabs to make them harder to remove. But in the case in question, the slabs had been broken – which can’t have been easy to do. So how did it happen? (and why was there an old flourescent tube in a litter bin?? We don’t have a formal definition of ‘litter’ to hand, but if we did we doubt that a flourescent tube would fit it.)