Friday, April 10

Recession (or Depression?) hit Waterlooville

Estate AgentThis was an estate agent. There are still estate agents in town, but this one didn't survive. Notice the building above the shop front. These buildings were once little cottages just outside the main high street.
They were probably sucked into the commercial high street in the 1930s or 1960s. Waterlooville was ruined in the 1960s by un-fettered commercial development and so called modernisation.

Woolworths. Yes last year Waterlooville had a small one, it was actually quite popular, but it also had a lot of competition when Wilko, Argos, supermarkets, the internet etc. moved in or offered competition.

This started out as a motorbike/scooter gear shop which although i didn't like much, was actually quite cool. Before that it was a shoe shop for a decade or two, until Brantano moved into the retail park.
The motorbike shop was converted into a tacky gift shop, which frankly had no chance of surviving a recession.

And it didn't!

This was a shop selling electric mobility scooters and other stuff for those that had problems getting around. Did they go bust or did they move??? I don't know, you would think with an ageing population that they would be still in business.
But maybe people are making do with walking sticks?

Again, look at the top of the building, it could have been a butchers or something like that in Victorian times.

Believe it or not, in the 1970s the Baytree Bookshop once stood on this corner. I know because one of the shop assistants back then was a friend. It was a little tradition corner shop.

The building that was there has been knocked down by some small time developers that obviously ran out of cash when the banking crisis hit and the banks had no money to hand out. It was meant to be a shop with flats above. I only ever saw about 3 people working on it. All work is now stopped.

Just about all the news agents have card sections, including WH Smith. So why does Waterlooville need card shops?

well it has one less now.

Jacksons, this is a success story. It isn't closed, it's a small local shop and electricians business that is likely to survive in any boom and recession.

Everyone needs this sort of business, like everyone needs their hair cut. They will always be successful.

Waterlooville highstreet. Actually it is holding up quite well, this photo was taken on quite a busy day, although it doesn't look like it.

Which makes you wonder about all those old Victorian photos with streets that look empty. In reality they were probably quite busy.

Oh and BTW, all the cars are parked in massive car parks just outside Waterlooville, this pleasant photo hides that.


Steve said...

My wife cleared out the shelves of the card shop at 10 pence a card - we're fine for Births, Deaths and Birthdays for World+Dog for the next 20 years.

I think a couple of shops have closed in the precinct bit near Waitrose - though they didn't really offer much. Too many stores wanting to sell the same thing at the wrong price.

I do like Wilko's - it's what Woolies should have been. Quality products at good prices and you can buy almost anything.

I do miss The Peach Garden Chinese - though I guess we'll have to give Winnie's a go though I've never met anyone that's been there.

Anonymous said...

Cool little report you have here. It is a shame to see so many empty shop windows though.

Following our conversation earlier, do you know of any shops/farm shops or similar which sell good quality local produce?

Oh P.S. £3 each return to southampton is amazing value! and FYI i found this blog by google-ing waterlooville eco

TheVille said...

Hi Anon,

I bought an Organic chicken from Hyden farm at Christmas, it cost about £16.

Pricey, but it had quite a lot of meat on it. The Turkeys were a bit to expensive for my budget.

I just ordered it and turned up to pick it up like any butcher. You can see the birds from the road side out in the open. They have said they will be losing the organic label, so they will probably come down in price.

I think Steve, the other commenter here, sells eggs:

There are probably others.
Actually there is a small bakers in Denmead that i think cook their bread on site. Their sandwich loaves are good.
They probably get their ingredients from further afield though??

TheVille said...


The £3 return tickets to Southampton were on a Saturday from Cosham.

If you get 'group' tickets, you can get a really good deal, but it means everyone in the group is supposed to get on the same train.

Actually when we got to Southampton, we got a free bus that circles the city centre. The ferry company, the train company and the shopping centre company have teamed up to provide the free bus. It runs every few minutes.

The most expensive part of the journey was the taxi to Cosham from Waterlooville.

Anonymous said...

I will deff look into that then.

On the chicken front Waitrose sell good organic free range chickens for around the £16 mark. Although its not the same as buying direct from a local farmer. (I dont feel bad about saying that as i used to work there!)

However beware of their 'local' produce. Although theyre grown locally (titchfield, chichester, IOW)they make a journey up to Bracknell to be sorted and re-distributed. In my mind this is misleading as the journey is probably a little over 100miles by then.

Just something to bear in mind

Thanks for the pointer about Hyden farm i must check it out next time i'm in the mood for chicken!!

its Danners btw

TheVille said...

Yes, it doesn't surprise me about Waitrose or any other supermarket.

Their business models require centralised processing, which adds to the carbon footprint. They are interested in economies of scale.

Interesting about the £16 Waitrose chicken, i'd rather pay a local farmer £16 than some supermarket.
You have to wonder how much the farmers are getting for supplying Waitrose.

Steve said...

I went into town today to get some more gardening bits and bobs and saw lots more closed down shops. Sadly Iceland is still there.

Does Waterlooville really need three mobile telephone shops? I guess they pay the rent ...

Anonymous said...

mobile phone shops are a waste of space i agree! I too have noticed the dukes walk shops have a few empty windows again.

On the chicken front i would much rather buy direct from the farmer i agree, now i know of a local farm to get one!
Well aware of the awful mark-up supermarkets put on chicken.

Have you guys ever checked out southsea or chichester farmers markets?

Anonymous said...

Also another shop that's just closed this week is Selfwire (near the Wellington pub). Now Eric Jackson's is the only electrical retailer in Waterlooville and the oldest (opened in 1928!)