I wrote this in May 2017; I was feeling very strongly after a shopping trip into Warrington and it all came out. I believe things have moved on since then, though.
I believe there is a Chinese curse along the lines of ‘May you live in interesting times’ and, as a result of my life becoming more ‘interesting’ than the lurid imaginings of an Eastenders script-writer, I’ve only gone into Warrington a handful of times this last year. The impression I brought away with me, each time, was of a town that is slowly, but inexorably, being dismantled.
From the advent of the New Town in the 1970s, and onwards, road widening schemes have taken out Warrington’s old buildings – many along the entire length of whole streets – replacing them, in the main, with corrugated steel clad, warehouse style ‘shops’ and their surface carparks. Immensely large roundabouts have, in turn, wiped out whole series of other streets, fragmenting what was once quite a decent sized town centre and now Church Street, the original core of the town going back to Anglo-Saxon times, which was cut off from the rest of the town centre by the vast roundabout that replaced Trafalgar Place and its surrounding streets, is being turned into little more than a residential suburb.
The wide expanse of Church Street sounded Continue reading