A30 drivers – if they have time to look to the side of the road – can see further deterioration of the former dry-cleaners building. It really makes you proud of Camberley. Sadly, we suspect that it’ll be years before the building, which is part of the ‘London Road Block’, is demolished.
You’ll be aware that in March the borough council Executive decided to close the Surrey Heath Museum. This was after an extensive consultation lasting months. So we’re re-posting an item that we originally published last September. Make what you will of the final paragraph (and, indeed, of the paragraph before that, as we no longer have a police desk in the council offices).
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two ‘renamings’ since then; first as the ‘Arts Link’ and then as ‘Camberley Theatre’.We’ve pointed out the tatty and out-of-date sign a number of times since 2013.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.
Fairly recently we showed the MySha beauty salon at the top of the High Street. It had its shutters down – and we were concerned as we’d not seen them up for a while. However, it is still alive and kicking! Here’s a more recent photo; the shutters are up and a new illuminated sign has appeared outside. (The sign has a quickly-scrolling message which makes it hard to photograph. What the camera captures is somewhat pot-luck, unfortunately.)
(UPDATE – when we last looked at the sign, it wasn’t working.)
We don’t think the new barber in Park Street is up and running yet. Not least, is it connected to the water supply? It’s obvious from the blue pipes in front of it that there are still connections to be made – but these may be for the new flats rather than the shop itself.
It’s pretty obvious from our photo that something is happening at last in the new ‘Fone Shop’ in the mall. The lights are on! But what we actually noticed was the smell of paint coming through the gap along the edge of the door. Weird!
The council – it must have been the council – has just felled a considerable number of trees and removed vegetation at the back of Camberley Park. (That’s the park behind the library). For the first time in years it’s possible to see the obelisk clearly from ‘ground level’. It looks surprisingly close; laboriously climbing the knoll to reach it gives a false impression of distance.
We should point out that the footpath up to the obelisk is closed at the moment because of the clearing work.
Just over a month ago we wrote about a just-published council discussion paper which had been prepared for a meeting of the council’s Executive Committee. The paper looked at future options for the Surrey Heath museum. Non-controversially, the paper said that the council offices were the wrong place for the museum; it could never attract enough visitors there. But, as we pointed out, the subsequent recommendation was simply to close the museum. Options for moving it to a more central location weren’t mentioned. This seemed to be a gross oversight, which, we speculated, meant that the decision had already been made to avoid any ‘bricks and mortar’ facility in the future.
However, this notice appeared on the door of the Heritage Centre – opposite Argos – a few days ago. So we’ve just re-read the minutes of the aforementioned Executive Committee meeting. They make no mention of relocating the museum to the town centre in the near future. Indeed they say that the proposal was “to deliver the service in a new and more modern way.” So it seems that the council has had a recent change of heart. In which case, why has it taken so long to adopt the obvious option and move the museum display into any of the shops which aren’t in commercial use? Even better, one which is already known as the ‘Heritage Gallery’?
Yesterday we showed a photo of one of the old signs above the entrance to the mall being covered up. We predicted that the new name – ‘The Square’ – would be appearing instead. But no. What’s actually appeared above each of the mall’s entrances is the name of the street inside the entrance. Whether that’s all that’s intended we don’t know; it would be helpful if the street name was repeated inside the mall too. We’ve missed the previous internal signs that did just that.
We couldn’t stay long enough yesterday to see what the final version of the mall’s Princess Way entrance will look like. But we did get a glimpse of the last-but-one sign that had just been revealed. We guess that by now it’s disappeared again, behind a new and glossy ‘The Square’. We’ll have a look tomorrow.
(Apologies, the map below in the first ‘edition’ of this post linked to the wrong document. Second time lucky, we hope!)
South Western Railways have just announced that, as a result of responses to last year’s consultation, “We plan to maintain the direct services from Frimley, Camberley and Bagshot to and from Waterloo at peak times. We will offer three services in both the morning and evening peaks (this represents one additional service during the evening peak period compared to today).”
“Our face to face meetings, discussions with MPs and feedback emails told us that the loss of the direct Camberley peak service to and from London was not well received even though a faster journey time would be achievable by changing at Ash Vale. We have re-analysed the capacity for services through Ascot in the peak and will plan that direct services will be maintained from and to Frimley, Camberley and Bagshot with Waterloo in the peak. In both the morning and evening peaks we propose to run three direct services which would mean an additional direct service in the evening peak period compared to today.”
Click on the map for more details. Congratulations to all those who were involved in negotiating with SWR.