Yesterday’s item in the Eye was about shop windows. Ditto today…..
Earlier this week we spotted someone doing something in front of the windows of the former BHS shop in Princess Way.
We walked up to them and discovered that they were using an ultrasonic ‘tape measure’, so we started a conversation:
“What are you doing?”
“Measuring the windows”.
“I don’t know.”
So now you know as much as we do!
We’ve said already that we’re not going to record every detail of the upgrading of Grace Reynolds Walk. But new shop windows are now being installed, and that’s a milestone that deserves mention. Here’s just one example:
An all-glass frontage. Very much up-to-date, and able to compete with Bracknell’s Lexicon.
As far as we know, the borough council hasn’t released its plans for the rest of the mall. But, if we remember correctly, the council is keen to create an ‘up-market’ environment that will attract ‘quality’ retailers. Which could mean turning the remaining shops into something that’s not necessarily fashionable, but which differentiates Camberley from the Lexicon.
The other day we were walking through a shopping mall that seems to fit the bill. Or, put it another way, we liked what we saw! Here are a couple of photos for reference:
Would something like that suit Camberley?
This sign outside Camberley’s theatre seems a little off-target? The Amy Winehouse experience wasn’t an entirely happy one. Or are we being hyper-sensitive?
You’ll remember the ‘dress exchange’ shop on the A30 – the one that moved some months ago to the top of Park Street. Well, the old premises are starting to show signs of life again; here’s a picture taken just before the windows were covered to stop anyone seeing what was happening inside.
(We’ve just learned who the new occupant will be, though we’ve promised not to reveal all for a bit. However, we can say that they hope to open for business in two or three weeks’ time.)
If you’ve read the latest copy of the local newspaper, you’ll know that earlier this month the council executive discussed options for Christmas events in the town this year. You’ll also know that, in the words of the paper, the council is keeping “tight-lipped”; the press and public were excluded from the discussions. (The internet version of the meeting’s agenda doesn’t even mention the subject.) The paper wonders whether we’ll see a re-launch of last year’s ‘Camberley on Ice’, but quotes a council spokesman: “wait and see”. We deduce that this means that there will be a press release at some point, after which everything will be made public. (It’s a bit tedious that the council doesn’t put its press releases on its website. We wonder why it doesn’t.)
We can clarify the situation just a little. Any re-launch won’t involve the same company running the ice rink and market, for it appears to have gone into liquidation a few months after Christmas. Perhaps it should never have been appointed – last year’s event had some serious deficiencies.
As it happens, we didn’t know about the executive committee’s discussions, and we independently used the council’s Facebook page to ask about Christmas. Here’s the correspondence:
For thirty years the borough council has said that it wants to improve the pedestrian environment in Camberley’s High Street. Its latest proposals involve cutting the number of parking spaces, and reducing the ‘differentiation’ between road and pavement. This can work, as the photo below shows.
But it does help if the street is wide. Also, Surrey Heath residents have lots of cars, and they generally expect to use them. So we genuinely don’t know whether the council’s proposals would work in our town. We don’t believe that the council can be sure either. So our recommendation is for a trial period. Possibly concentrating on Saturday afternoons, when the road is busiest with pedestrians. See what happens, and learn from the experience.
The entrances to the former BHS store have now been boarded up. Anyone who’s been past that way in recent months will know why, but the effect doesn’t enhance the town. A coat or two of white paint – or perhaps a ‘picture’ covering the raw woodwork – would be an improvement.
The former shoe repair shop in The Square (we’ll get used to the change from ‘The Mall’ one day!) has turned into a branch of Timpsons.
We’ve a lot of respect for John Timpson. As the Timpson website says: ” In 2004 he was awarded the CBE in the Birthday Honours List for Services to the Retail Sector and in 2017 was knighted for his services to business and fostering.”
It’s been a bit silly. But, genuinely, for the last few weeks we haven’t known what to call ‘Main Square Car Park’. Does ‘Main Square’ still exist after the renaming of the shopping centre as ‘The Square’? (It could be a bit confusing to give a stranger verbal instructions to “park in the square car park”.)
We can only turn to the borough council for the definitive answer. In this week’s local paper is an entry by the council advertising for an operator for “a static waterless car wash in MAIN SQUARE (our emphasis) multi-storey car park”. So that’s it, now we know. Main Square Car Park it is. Unless…
We reported a few weeks ago that we’d been told about this dead tree in Knoll Road. Well, it won’t be there much longer….