When you are busy it’s amazing how quickly lunchtime comes around.
As soon at 1.00pm arrived I downed tools, picked up my sandwiches and made for the Parish Churchyard to rest and recuperate after a busy morning.
My friend was already there and had a spot reserved on the best bench (pictured) for us to sit and eat lunch together.
In the course of conversation yours truly happened to say ‘Of course modern day Wycombe is not a patch on that of yesteryear‘. At the time it seemed an innocuous statement but the debate that followed mas most interesting.
Regular readers will know that in my opinion the 1970’s was the pinnacle in terms of Wycombe being a great town, my friend however things that things are pretty good here at the moment.
The question is how can you measure a town?
Well, there are the types of shop that we have and my friend pointed out that once again we have a department store in the town centre.
‘Ah….’ I said, ‘But we had a most excellent department store in the town centre back in the 1970’s, it was called Murray’s’. Then my friend pointed out that we now have two department stores here now, one in the town centre and another at Cressex. I think I lost that point….
My friend took no time in pointing out the advancements in the town in recent years. I sat and listened my friend say about how Wycombe town now has a bowling alley, two multiplex cinemas, modern bus station, two large shopping centres, modern football ground and six supermarkets.
Of course all these things were not here forty years ago.
Back then the football ground was in Queen Alexandra Road and had a sloping pitch, we only had one shopping centre, one cinema in Frogmoor and the town only had three supermarkets.
My friend is right of course there are far better facilities and amenities here now that in the 70’s but the question is has our quality of life got any better?
We may have a modern bus station but in my opinion its too far from the town centre. The football ground is out of the way down Hillbottom Road in Sands. Having a large shopping centre is one thing but what about all the empty shops it created when traders moved out from the historic part of town to the bright lights of the new shopping centre.
Of course there is one thing Wycombe has lost in the past four decades. I am of course talking about the furniture industry.
Just think how many people were employed in the furniture factories, with all but a handful left we can no longer call ourselves a furniture town.
It’s all very well having modern facilities in a town but if there’s no employment the townspeople won’t have any money to spend in shops or bowling alleys.
Modern day Wycombe may be a wonder town with glitzy facilities but without a sense of community and hope those facilities count for very little.
What do you think?
*My next blog will be published on Tuesday evening around 8pm.