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Thread: shopping centres

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
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    3,397

    Default shopping centres

    I am mostly referring to the "old school" shopping centres of the 1970s and 1980s with brown tile walls on the front and all that - we occasionally get to see them in old news reports about sales, decimalisation and things like that.

    The Victoria Shopping Centre in Nottingham opened up in 1972 and used to be where the Victoria train station was - three years later, the Broad Marsh Shopping Centre opened up in the southern part of Nottingham City Centre which was quite convenient for the train and bus station at the time. The Victoria Centre still has Nottingham's very own Boots the chemist, WHSmith and John Lewis (although it was called Jessops back then) from day one. I have always preferred the Victoria Centre to Broad Marsh as I think that the latter has a lower standards of shops inside the centre and they are more likely to have closed and boarded up stores there. There is some amateur film of the inside of the shopping centre circa 1974 on YouTube - great to see. Tesco succeeded Debenhams One Stop shop in 1978 before it moved to Long Row, which itself replaced Superscan, a pioneer store in the centre.

    In Broad Marsh, BHS has obviously gone and I was sad to learn about Nottingham's first branch of Argos which opened in 1976 had closed a couple of years ago as well. When I saw the 1983 General Election coverage on BBC Parliament I saw a very dodgy Broad Marsh-alike shopping centre on screen where a reporter was there, probably Esther Rantzen or Desmond Wilcox or someone like that - one that would have a branch of Brentford Nylons in it well into the 1990s.

    Going back to when I was younger, the old Victoria Centre had an orange 1970s "snowflake" logo with the "VC" letters around a circle. Apart from the main stores at the time, there were unbelievably pubs inside the shopping centre - one was called The Old Vic - one assumes after one had been shopping, one could go in for a drink as long as one was old enough to do so. For the younger ones, there was this white mini-climbing frame thing outside the shops. Who would have heard of a pub in a shopping centre these days? - were they closed as a result of the risk of the public being drunk while out and about shopping, I wonder? I assume that was the case why they stopped having them in shopping centres.

    Fast-forward to 1986 and the Victoria shopping centre was modernised - Tesco was moved to within the centre to make way for restaurants such as the Food Court - somewhere that I wanted to go to eat but never got a chance to before it had closed many years later. It was the same Tesco where Anthea Turner stood outside in November 1994 for the very first National Lottery draw which was presented by Noel Edmonds, and the same supermarket that I shop in quite frequently now. Broad Marsh feels so backwards in comparison, and I don't shop there as often I would have with the Victoria Centre.

    I know that there are a lot of many out-of-town shopping centres that I have opened in the last 25 years or so such as the Metro Centre in Gateshead and Meadowhall in Sheffield, and I have visited quite a few others as well. They are a lot better than the old shopping centres of the past - I would prefer "out of town" rather than "City Centre" even it means travelling by bus for a few more miles.

    So what are your memories of the shopping centres of old? - did they really look grotty and strange and have "adult-only" things like pubs inside them in the days when everyone was older than oneself and that adults really did rule society in general?
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
    Posts
    3,397

    Default Re: shopping centres

    I suppose it should have gone into the Adverts part of the forum, but on the subject of shopping centres, there was that Bullring Shopping Centre advert seen in the West Midlands on ITV which had reworded lyrics for that old Everly Brothers' song Bye-Bye Love, reworded as "buy-buy everything".
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

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