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 !

1 comment:

Douglas Worrall said...

I recently visited Beeston after over 40 years absence, having previously lived in Waverley Avenue for 30 years. The reality of what the supermarkets have done to the central area is astonishing and demeaning, just leaving a very few buildings worth looking at, i.e. Barclays Bank and the former Church Street Infants School now acceptable as flats.
Was there ever any outcry by locals as to the urban blight which is overwhelming here?