Monday, November 29, 2010

Is this the centre again ?

Middle Street in Beeston used to mean what it said - and so did 'High' Road and 'Nether' Street. Though all of them haven't always had these names - High Road was the Turnpike and Middle Street was Market Street until well into the 19th century - the reason they became so named is because of their position relative to the village core. What is now High Road skirted its northern limits, Nether Street, its southern limits and Middle Street went through the middle - outside that there were open fields until they were encrouched on, progressively through the 19th century - so that today Beeston continues, largely seamlessly, to its boundaries, well beyond the old village centre.

Over those years, the High Road - and The Square in particular - has established itself as the natural centre of the town. It was a natural evolution - that's where the shops developed and that's where the Civic buildings were built so the centre it became. So the original meaning of 'Middle' Street easily became forgotten - it wasn't the centre of anything in particular any more.

Now, it seems to me - rightly or wrongly - the positioning of the new Tesco may well change Beeston's focus with Middle Street back to what it was - Beeston's center ! I agree, its early days and much depends on whether redevelopment continues on Station Road, below Middle Street but its possible. Personally, I would rather the development result in a revitalised High Road and the pedestian links from the new development may well help that outcome - I, for one, hope so.

We will just have to wait to see whether or not history repeats itself !