Sunday, February 22, 2009

Coronation Stone

I hadn't been to Kingston for a relatively young donkey's years, and it's funny how much the place has changed. First glance on emerging from the train station suggests that it hasn't been a change for the better - Books, Bits & Bobs, the cool little shop that sold comics, costumes and party gimmicks is standing derelict and waiting to be demolished along with that whole block of buildings, but judging by the snazzy new cinema just over the road, it's going to be replaced by something shiny and modern.

And most of the city centre has gone all 21st-century too. I don't know what it is, exactly, but there's something smoother and shinier about shop-fronts these days. A few little redecorations and a place becomes unrecognisable. And with the Bentalls centre I had the usual fun of visiting a place from one of my memory journeys and realising how very different it looks in real life - my journeys tend to stylise the layout of a place like that, shrinking the parts in between locations and subtly changing the positions of significant places. Doesn't help that they've turned the fountain into some kind of weird plant-display, either.

Still, at least the combined ice-cream-and-burgers van is still in the same place it's always been, just outside Woolworth's, despite the shop itself being all closed down and empty.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I have fond memories of Kingston too.

It's a bit of a journey but a fine place to be 'student age'.

I was not too keen on its pedestrianised area having the same shops that exist anywhere in the country.
But it had a market area and tudor buildings and the King's Stone and the pubs along the river.

A lovely place. Richmond, Hammersmith. Anywhere with a river and pubs is hard to beat.