Some twenty-five years back the council of Bromsgrove took the decision to close the old High Street to traffic and to pedestrianise it. It was a new, modern, forward-looking, progressive thing to do - and the council liked to think of themselves as new, modern progressive etc. At the same time they put a ring road through Crown Close, the old, quiet lane and associated green space at the back of the High Street, and sold off half the adjoining meadow (on which the Town Fair had been held since King John granted the charter in 1199) for car parking and a large supermarket.
When I retire I think I'll research who the councillors involved were, then start a new career vandalising their graves. I'll knock down the stones, put plain brick up and cover all with gobbets of chewing gum. Any grass will be paved.
Now a statue of A.E. Housman looks out upon gum-spattered pavements and a lot of empty frontage. I dread to think what the sensitive aesthete and classical scholar would make of it all.
I think this one was Scotts the Jewellers (used to have a fine clock) before it became Halfords and then McDonalds. Jack Scott was a stalwart of Bromsgrove Cricket Club. A fine old building with hideous modern frontage. The charity shop to the right is on the market as well.
Not sure what this was - greengrocers ?
Note the modern maisonette style of building in what was a long Georgian/Victorian street.
A nice old place, but the cheap'n'cheerful eaterie next door makes it unlikely that Beatrice von Tresckow will be snapping it up for her next store. The legendary Beau Brummell Coffee House, den of iniquity for a generation of High School students, was up the stairs somewhere round here.
No redeeming features whatsoever. This section of High Street (the top right), from Lloyds Bank up to the Stratford Road (or Alcester Road for you real oldies) was extensively redeveloped in the early Seventies. Crowning vandalism was the destruction of two beautiful old Georgian coaching inns, the Roebuck and the Coach and Horses. The site is now an Argos.
You've seen the top right - this is what they did to the top left.
The very end of the top left. Just round the corner, the Queen's Head was a real old fashioned place, which had extended opening hours on cattle market days and served a decent pint of Ansells Mild. It isn't very old fashioned now, but at least they haven't knocked it down.
They haven't knocked down this beautiful building either - Rainscourts Delicatessen, a Bromsgrove institution for as long as I can remember. Great place for cheese and a pleasure to shop at.
Obtuse, envious or both?
4 hours ago