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Will 2015 be a good year for Wycombe?

| January 2, 2015

Ivor-2014-02-16-Bench-In-Parish-Churchyard

Well, it’s over. Christmas is but a fading memory and the New Year whizzed by in a flash.

I suppose my good self will soon be back to the daily drudgery of life namely getting up early to go to work then returning in the evening with the next gruelling day the only thing to look forward to.

My old grandfather told me that the older you get the quicker time passes. I didn’t believe him at the time but By George was he right!

Can it really be fifteen years since everyone was welcoming in the year 2000? It’s even two and a half years since the London 2012 Olympics.

It’s also two years (Sunday 30th September 2012) since the A&E Department closed at Wycombe General Hospital, thirteen years since the last incarnation of the Frogmoor fountain was installed in 2002, ten years since it last operated (2005) and eight years since was declared beyond repair (2007).

Forty five years ago, on the 2nd May 1970, the last train ran on the railway line from High Wycombe to Marlow, affectionately known as the ‘Marlow Donkey line’.

This year, 2015, will see the thirtieth anniversary of the closure of Murray’s, Wycombe’s famous department store, which closed for business on 30th March 1985.

Over the past few decades High Wycombe has lost so much. Even our beautiful Town Hall in Queen Victoria Road has been consumed as part of a commercial operation while the magnificent former library building next door has been left to rot for seven years since it closed in June 2008.

Indeed our town has lost so much of it’s vital infrastructure over the past few decades, this is a real shame. However there is a glimmer of hope as in recent years thankfully rather than losing useful parts of our infrastructure they have been saved.

A few years ago Booker Aerodrome was under threat but the plans to build a humongous stadium at the location were shelved.

Only last year it looked like High Wycombe’s truly wonderful Abbey Way Flyover was to be closed and traffic re-routed. Thankfully sense prevailed and only a few months ago renovation work on the structure was completed resulting in another twenty years of life for the most excellent example of 1960’s Brutalist architecture.

Walk around Wycombe town centre and there are still many empty and boarded up retail units, but they are noticeable fewer than in previous years.

It also looks like Wycombe Sound, the much loved community radio station, will also hopefully return in 2015.

Another boost for the town in 2014 came when HWBIDCo opened their ‘Enterprise HQ’ in Church Street to give entrepreneurs and new businesses a chance to try out their ideas.

Have Wycombe’s fortunes changed? Have the past four decades of run down, stagnation and closure in the town finally come to an end? I most sincerely hope so.

Maybe the impetus to push forward and grow will encompass some of the things our town has lost in recent decades?

Who knows in the coming months or years maybe the A&E Department will re-open at Wycombe Hospital, or perhaps water will flow again through a fountain in Frogmoor. Will a suitable use soon be found for the old Library building?

Wycombe it a town with great opportunity and potential, let’s hope it flourishes in 2015.

What do you think?

*My next blog will be published on Tuesday evening around 8pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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